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The Farsons Group has announced much-improved profitability in its interim results to 31st July 2009. Group turnover declined by 4.3% to reach €33,499,000 over the comparative period last year but profit for the period for the Group increased 84% from €982,000 in 2008 to €1,807,000. The improvement in the results was achieved despite the absence of any profits from the disposal of property. 

The decrease in turnover largely occurred in the beverage importation segment which was primarily attributable to the reduction of excise duties on spirits which became effective as of 01 January 2009. Sales of locally produced beverages also declined as a result of a decrease in the number of tourists visiting Malta.

Despite the decrease in Group turnover, margins were positively impacted by the reduction in the costs of certain raw materials, the attainment of targeted production efficiencies and the affect of various cost containment measures implemented over the period. The SFC Board of Directors is confident that such initiatives would be maintained in the foreseeable future and further opportunities existed for enhancing profitability levels further.

“It has been a tough period because of the impact of the downturn in tourism and in the economy in general. However, Farsons has been resilient in these market conditions as a result of a determination to be more cost effective and improve productivity. An invigorated management team led by Norman Aquilina – CEO Designate, is also producing desired results,” said Louis A Farrugia, Group Chief Executive.

The SFC Board also approved an interim dividend of €0.01 per share amounting to €300,000 out of tax exempt profits.