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Farsons Group registered steady growth despite competitive market pressures 5/30/2024

Farsons Group registered steady growth despite competitive market pressures

The Board of Directors of the Farsons Group is pleased to announce the financial results for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2024 (FY 2024).

The Farsons Group has navigated the economic and competitive environment with prudence, achieving significant growth and profitability. Louis A. Farrugia, Chairman of the Group, stated, “I am pleased to report that the trend of increased business across our trading activities has continued throughout the financial year 2024, yielding a profit before tax attributable to our shareholders of €16 million.”

FY 2024 saw the Group's turnover reach a record €132.9 million, a 12.4% increase over the previous year. The Beverage sector experienced an 8.8% revenue increase, while the food sector grew by 23%, driven by the opening of new franchised outlets and rising demand. The Group has also enhanced its investment in human resources, resulting in an increase of €3.3 million in employee costs, reflecting an 8.8% rise in average remuneration per employee. The workforce grew by 5%, averaging 954 full-time equivalents (FTE) for FY 2024. Group profit before taxation reached €16 million, marking a 5% increase from FY 2023, with an overall return on turnover decreasing from 14.1% to 13.1%. This reduction was a consequence of margin compression reflecting the Group’s prudence in absorbing part of the additional costs incurred to mitigate price increases to its clients. EBITDA for the year was €27.8 million, a 5.1% increase from the previous year. Commenting on these results, Group CEO Norman Aquilina stated, “We made significant progress in sharpening our strategic position and strengthening our winning culture, delivering positive results.”

At the end of FY 2024, net borrowings stood at €14.4 million, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 9.7%. The Group maintained a robust liquidity position and ensured timely payments to suppliers. Total equity increased to €148.7 million from €139.2 million in 2023, driven by retained profits.

The Group has continued to reinvest in its business, most notably completing the restoration of the iconic Old Brewhouse into The Brewhouse. Apart from the Malta Stock Exchange “Company of the Year” award, The Brewhouse project, funded internally, has earned multiple awards, including Din l-Art Ħelwa’s Prix d’Honneur. Significant green investments in a CO₂ recovery plant and a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) storage and distribution system continued alongside the acquisition of advanced photovoltaic panels and environmentally approved fleet replacements. Future major projects include a fully automated logistics facility for its beverage business alongside, a new logistics centre and office block in Ħandaq for its food business, which are both expected to be completed by  2026. This latter facility will enhance warehousing capabilities and digital inventory management, supporting the expansion of the Group's food segment.

Looking ahead, the Farsons Group anticipates continued growth in the tourism sector, despite intense competition and rising costs. The Group remains committed to delivering high-quality products and services, maintaining ethical standards, and navigating the evolving economic landscape with financial prudence. Louis A. Farrugia concluded, “At the Annual General Meeting on June 27, 2024, shareholders will be requested to approve a final dividend of 11c per share. With this final dividend and following the interim dividend of 5c per share, a total dividend of €5.76 million would have been distributed out of the results for the current financial year.”