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Farsons reports a steady performance as Group pursues growth through innovation 25/06/2015

Farsons reports a steady performance as Group pursues growth through innovation

Farsons Group reported another set of satisfactory results for the financial year ending 31 January 2015 as a result of consistent operational improvements combined with the Group’s pursuit of growth through innovation and internationalisation. This was stated by Mr Louis A. Farrugia, during his Chairman’s address at the 68th Annual General Meeting of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held at Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar.

He said: “Farsons Group has set out a clear vision for the foreseeable future, namely to grow our local and international business in order to establish the Group as a regional player within the food and beverage sector. To achieve this, appropriate resources are being invested in constructing additional state-of-the-art productive assets, including the €27 million beer packaging facility. This investment shall become operational as planned in April 2016.”

“Furthermore, we are not restricting our investment solely to machinery and physical assets. Much time and investment is currently also being deployed into ensuring we revitalize some existing brands, as well as innovating and launching new products suitable for both the local and international markets,” said Mr Farrugia.

While the Group is guided by the values of teamwork, respect, integrity and dynamism, there is a determined effort to align and integrate processes and nurture a culture which is driven by performance, is results-oriented, and in which development and training are critical enablers. Working in close collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, Farsons is constantly seeking to maximise potential, work smarter, and optimise the use of technology in the quest for cost effective solutions and continuous improvement in all its operations.

In reviewing the performance of the Group’s business and brands, Farsons Group Chief Executive Mr Norman Aquilina said: “Innovation is a continuous cycle and, in this regard, our strategic response to the competitive pressures is reaping the desired results by registering yet another solid performance with profit before tax amounting to €8.2 million, exceeding last year's record performance by almost 20%. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased by €1.7 million over the previous year to reach €15.9 million,” he said.

During his overview for 2014, Mr Aquilina said that the Group continued to focus on delivering value and developing brands and packaging that differentiated Farsons brands and products allowing Farsons to maintain a leadership position. “Moreover, our export efforts are not restricted to Europe - where significant increases were registered in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Poland - but also to build our brands in Asian and Australian markets,” said Mr Aquilina.

During the AGM proceedings, Dr Max Ganado and Mr Roderick Chalmers were uncontested and re-elected as Directors.

All resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting were approved.

The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s recommendation of a final dividend of €2 million, bringing the total declared dividend for the year to €3 million.

After the meeting, Mr Louis A Farrugia delivered a presentation regarding the review of the Group internal structures. As the company is planning to hive off a number of properties from its core food and beverage business activities, these properties will eventually form part of a separate and distinct property-focused public limited liability company planned to be set up in 2017.

Following this, the General Manager of Trident Developments Limited Dr Christopher Ciantar presented a number of designs and artists’ impressions about the 'Farsons Business Park project that were prepared by a well-known British firm of international repute, Ian Ritchie Architects. Last year, this architectural firm was entrusted with the development of the proposed masterplan for the Board’s eventual consideration.