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The Farsons Group has announced a significant improvement in its profit for the financial year ended 31 January 2012.

While group turnover increased by 5% to exceed €70 million, profit before tax exceeded €5 million compared to €4 million in the previous financial year, an increase of 25%.

Mr. Norman Aquilina, CEO, stated that despite the increased competitive pressures, the group managed to increase its turnover by over €3 million, partially as a result of an increase in exports’ turnover.  Nonetheless, increased competition and the rising costs of raw materials eroded margins.  The selling, distribution and administrative cost ratio to turnover reduced marginally, resulting in a stable operating profit compared to the prior year.

The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the financial year under review exceeded €11 million while the shareholders’ funds, at €88 million finance 59.6% of the group’s total assets.  The gearing ratio, that is, the ratio of debt on the total debt and equity at year end remains strong at 27.22%.

The directors also commented on the outlook for the new financial year, and highlighted the dependence of the group’s business on local consumer confidence and the state of the tourism industry.  Inflationary pressures on energy costs and increases in the cost of raw materials and imported products, particularly which are derived from agricultural commodities, continue to present challenges for the group.   Nevertheless, the board of directors remains confident that the group’s robust business model can face these challenges.

Works on the new state of the art €12.5 million investment in a new brewhouse are nearing completion and will be commissioned over the forthcoming summer months. 

The directors shall be recommending a total net dividend to the ordinary shareholders of €2.1 million at its Annual General Meeting on 20 June 2012, of which €400,000 has already been paid by way of an interim dividend in November 2011.