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Farsons reports a steady and profitable year of trading and investments 6/18/2014



Farsons Group improved its profitability during the financial year ending 31 January 2014 as a result of continuous operational improvements due to the Group’s commitment to produce world-class products in the most efficient way possible. Moreover, Farsons is well on track with its strategic multi-million Euro investments programme. This was stated by Mr Louis A. Farrugia, during his Chairman’s address at the 67th Annual General Meeting of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held at Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar.


He said: “While the significant €12.5 million investment in the new brewhouse commissioned in 2012 is already reaping rewards, work on the latest €27 million investment in a new beer packaging facility announced last February has started. This is expected to be completed by April 2016.


“Furthermore, our vision is to continue growing our Maltese and international business. We aspire to broaden our horizons to become a regional food and beverage player, as clearly stated in the vision and values statement of the Farsons Group, ”said Mr Farrugia.


In reviewing the performance of the Group’s business and brands, Farsons Group Chief Executive Mr Norman Aquilina said: “Despite the highly competitive environment, the Group registered yet another solid performance with profit before tax surpassing €6.8 million, exceeding last year's record performance by almost 6%. Group turnover increased by 2%, also reaching a record figure of just under €79 million.”


“EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased by €267,000 exceeding last year’s record level to reach €14.2 million. Our gearing improved by a further 2.29 percentage points to 22.13%,” he said.


During his overview for 2013, Mr Aquilina said that core segments of the group’s businesses have improved their performance in terms of turnover and segmental results. Maintaining the positive trends achieved over the past few years, exports have delivered a good performance in terms of value, volume and profitability, representing around 6% by volume of Farsons’ total production. The Group’s vision is to continue to grow this business.


Farsons will be further consolidating its dual strategy of growth through innovation and exports, while making the necessary strategic investments, and allocating adequate resources. This will ensure that the Farsons Group continues to expand as a successful  Maltese-owned business with growing regional aspirations.


“Farsons’ consistently positive results demonstrate that we are well on track” said Mr Aquilina.


Dr Max Ganado and Mr Roderick Chalmers were uncontested and elected as Directors. The composition of the Board remained unchanged in that Mr Michael Farrugia, Mr Chalmers and Dr Ganado were joined by the other Directors who retired in terms of Article 98 of the Articles of Association of the Company and who were reconfirmed in the post. All resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting were approved.


The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s recommendation of a final dividend of €1.5 million, bringing the total declared dividend for the year to2.5 million. This figure is equivalent to the amount declared last year.


After the meeting, Mr Farrugia announced that, during the past months, Farsons has been actively working on developing the 'Farsons Business Park' master plan for the transformation of the iconic Old Brewhouse and former Packaging Halls on part of its Mrieħel site.  A well-known British firm of international repute, Ian Ritchie Architects, has been entrusted with developing the proposed masterplan for the Board’s eventual consideration.