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FARSONS POSTS IMPROVED RESULTS DESPITE INTENSE COMPETITION 21/06/2012

Chairman announces new €12.5m Brewhouse nearing completion

Farsons Group reported an increase in its profitability during 2011 mainly due to the absence of any fair value losses on investment property, as well as the reduction in finance costs.  This was stated by Mr Louis A. Farrugia, during his first address as Chairman to shareholders at the 65th Annual General Meeting of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc.

Mr Farrugia thanked his predecessor Mr Bryan A. Gera for serving the Group as its Chairman throughout his tenure of 16 years.  “His commitment, loyalty and dedication to service were second to none,” he said.

Referring to the €12.5 million Brewhouse project, Mr Farrugia announced that following months and years of meticulous planning and execution of works, the project was drawing to completion and shall be officially inaugurated in early September 2012.

Mr Norman Aquilina, who was reporting the results of his second full year as Group Chief Executive said: “Despite all competitive pressures, we have managed to increase our turnover by over €3 million or 5%, over the previous year, in part attributable to a notable increase in our Group exports.  The Group’s turnover now exceeds the €70 million mark. More importantly, we also improved our pre-tax profit by 25% to a figure just over €5 million.”

“Our EBIDTA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) exceeded €11 million and was the highest in the past five years.  Gearing, that is the ratio of debt on equity and debt at the year end, remained strong at 27.2%,” said Mr Aquilina.

During his overview of 2011, Mr Aquilina said that Farsons maintained its drive for further operational efficiencies while ensuring improvements in cost management across the Group.  Farsons also continued to re-dimension and adopt a more effective sales and marketing approach, delivering that competitive added value along with profitable growth.

The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s recommendation of a final dividend of €1,700,000.  An interim dividend of €400,000 had already been paid in October 2011. Dr Max Ganado and Mr Roderick Chalmers were automatically elected as directors, while the other directors were confirmed in their posts. 

All resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting including a resolution to amend the Memorandum of Association were approved.