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FARSONS REPORTS TO SHAREHOLDERS ON DIFFICULT YEAR 26/06/2009


Mr Louis A. Farrugia, Group CEO, addressing the Annual General Meeting

After a difficult 2008, characterised by a number of non-recurrent items and substantial increases in the cost of raw materials and utility costs, Farsons’ profitability is expected to improve as a result of remedial measures undertaken to manage costs and further enhance efficiency and competitiveness.

This was stated by Group CEO, Mr Louis A Farrugia, during his address to shareholders at the 62nd Annual General Meeting of Simonds Farsons Cisk p.l.c.

Mr Farrugia also referred to the construction of a new €12,500,000 Brew House as the final phase of the 1990’s master plan to renew its total plant and machinery. He informed shareholders that planning design work and project management preparation are underway and a MEPA application will be submitted shortly to seek a permit to construct it, as well as a further floor and offices on top of the new Logistics Office Block.  The decision on whether to start the project will be taken later this year.

“Trading conditions remain challenging. Group turnover has reduced marginally as compared to the same period last year, but the various measures of cost containment taken by management have made up for the shortfalls in revenues, and to date, targeted results are close to being attained. Subject to the performance of the early summer month sales, we remain optimistic that the operational profit for the six months to 31 July 2009 will be better than that reported for the same period last year,” said Mr Farrugia.

When Company Chairman Mr Bryan A. Gera addressed the shareholders, he said that Group’s turnover reached 66.4 million. Group profit before tax amounted to €895,000.

“Our EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) remains strong,” said Mr Gera.

The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s recommendation of a total dividend of €1,000,000. Shareholders also endorsed the Board’s proposal regarding the allotment of one bonus share for every six shares held.   

Finally, Mr Gera thanked all Farsons Group directors, the entire management and staff at the brewery and subsidiaries for their dedication and commitment and all the shareholders for their trust in the Farsons Group.