Roland Pirmez, CEO, Asia Pacific Breweries

Roland Pirmez, CEO, Asia Pacific Breweries

Asia Pacific Breweries has posted a healthy start to its latest fiscal year, with both sales and profits delivering strong rises year-on-year.

The company, a joint venture between Fraser & Neave and Heineken, announced today (11 February) that profits before interest, taxation and exceptional items (PBIT) in the three months to the end of December increased by 50% on the corresponding period a year earlier, coming in at SGD131m (US$92.8m). Sales followed suit, albeit less markedly, climbing by 10.2% to SGD639.2m.

Profits after taxation were up by 58.1% at SGD93.6m.

The company credited price increases implemented late last year, higher volumes, an improved sales mix and lower prices for some packaging materials in the markets for the strong quarterly performance.

“The robust first quarter operating performance is largely driven by Indochina - Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam - which saw a 35% increase in volume due to strong festive sales in the run-up to TET (Lunar New Year),” said APB's CEO, Roland Pirmez.

Of APB's other markets, New Zealand, which proved troublesome last year delivered a 35% leap in PBIT, despite a 3% slide in volumes. The performance was supported by lower costs, increased margins and translation gains of SGD3m as the New Zealand dollar rose by 20% compared to the same period last year.

Looking forward, APB warned that the rate of growth witnessed in the first quarter “is expected to moderate”.

“Barring any unforeseen developments, this growth, coupled with the acquisition of the breweries in Indonesia and New Caledonia and the divestment of the loss-making Indian operations, is expected to result in a higher attributable profit (before exceptional items) compared to last year,” the firm concluded.

To read the official release, click here.