Good growth in Indochina and sharply reduced losses in China have allowed Asia Pacific Breweries to report record full year revenues and profits.

The Asian brewer said today (14 November) that stronger sales in almost all its markets lead to attributable net profit before exceptional items of S$115.5m (US$67.7m), up 10% on last year. Similarly, PBIT (profit before interest and taxation) rose by the same margin, or S$20.8m, to reach S$220.4m on the back of revenues of S$1.44bn, which grew 5%.

Basic earnings per share (before exceptional items) based on the 12-month results amounted to 45.1 cents compared with 41.1 cents in the previous period. The company said that its directors have declared a final net dividend of 16 cents per share which will be paid to shareholders on 15 February.

Koh Poh Tiong, CEO of APB, said: "Reflecting the success of the group's international expansion strategy, our overseas investments contributed 80% of group's PBIT. While Singapore continues to make a healthy contribution to group's profit, IndoChina, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have once again emerged as star performers that contribute strongly to the group's earnings growth."

The company added that China continued to show signs of improvement with stronger sales.

"The robust volume growth in Shanghai and Hainan, coupled with profit contributions from our investments in Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd and Jiangsu DaFuHao Breweries have reduced our losses by 63% to S$3.1m against S$8.3m in the previous year," added Koh.

In Malaysia, despite a decline in volume of 5% due to continuing weak consumer sentiments, PBIT grew by 3% due to improved margins from price increases and effective cost management.

Indochina posted a significant 17% growth in volume, attributable mainly to rising level of disposable income in Cambodia and Vietnam. The region achieved a 20% increase in PBIT.

New Zealand recorded a 20% increase in PBIT even though volume increased by only 3%. This was due mainly to improved sales mix, price increases and the stronger New Zealand dollar, which accounted for 6% of the increase in PBIT.

Thailand registered an 11% increase in volume achieved through continued Heineken growth coupled with the first full year volume for Tiger Beer. However, PBIT fell marginally due mainly to increased investment in the brand marketing expenses.

China achieved a 63% reduction in losses. Losses for China reduced by S$5.2m to S$3.1m from S$8.3m in the previous year. 

"This is a result of healthy volume growth of 29% and 36% in Shanghai and Hainan respectively coupled with profit contribution from our investments in Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd and Jiangsu DaFuHao Breweries," a statement said.