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Farsons Group registers another steady and profitable performance 4/29/2015

Farsons Group registers another steady and profitable performance

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc registered another year of steady and profitable growth. Whilst Group turnover for the financial year ending 31st January 2015 increased marginally to exceed €79 million, the Group delivered a substantial increase in profitability over the previous year’s record results. The profit before tax from continuing operations increased by 20% to €8.2 million.

The solid performance for the year was positively influenced by further growth in the local economy, a record year of tourist arrivals and expenditure, an encouraging performance of key beverage brands and various other factors, including improved efficiencies, productivity and significant reductions in raw material costs.

Apart from a remarkable trading performance, the results for the year were also of an exceptional nature due to a series of important and significant decisions taken by the Board. A net fair value downward adjustment of €5.2 million to the property values was reflected in the results for the year following changes in assumptions and the firming up of the plans of the Farsons Business Park. Given that the Board has confirmed its intent to hive off the property interests from the other business activities, the results of the property segment, including the fair value movement, are now being disclosed as discontinued operations. A separate company announcement on this property development will be issued before the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for 26th June 2015.

The Company also reviewed the extent to which the deferred tax assets may be utilised in the future following more restrictive investment tax credit schemes applicable to large undertakings as from July 2014.  This gave rise to the recognition of deferred tax credits on investment aid of €5.3 million.

Group Chairman Mr Louis A Farrugia said: “The Board is most satisfied with the performance of the Group as we continue to carry out significant investments and seek to produce world-class products in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. We wish to market more of our products internationally and these results will help us along this challenging path.”

The €27 million state-of-the-art beer packaging facility replacing all glass bottle and can production facilities is scheduled to be completed by April 2016. This new facility will provide the Company with the additional option of producing ‘one way’ bottle packages designed for export markets.

Farsons Group CEO Mr Norman Aquilina commented, “The consistent improvement in our results gives us further confidence as we better gear ourselves for additional export opportunities that will arise once the new beer packaging facility is commissioned next year.

“Despite the market changes and continued fierce competition across all sectors in which we operate, our ambitions for profitable growth remain strong.  Apart from going for further organic growth, we remain committed to secure extended brand representation to further accelerate this growth with innovation and exports remaining our two main areas of strategic focus,” said Mr Aquilina.

Shareholders' funds increased by €5 million to exceed €100 million (January 2014: €95 million). EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the year amounted to €15.9 million compared to €14.2 million last year.

The Board of Directors is recommending an increased final dividend of €2 million, resulting in a total declared dividend for the year of €3 million.  This figure is €0.5 million higher than the amount declared last year.