Fraser & Neave and Coca-Cola officially ended their partnership in October last year

Fraser & Neave and Coca-Cola officially ended their partnership in October last year

Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&N) has said it expects this year to be challenging for the firm following the end of its partnership with The Coca-Cola Co, according to reports.

F&N's CEO for Malaysia, Datuk Ng Jui Sia, is reported as telling Business Week on Monday (16 January), that the company is "feeling the impact of the Coca-Cola absence". However, he added that the strength of the firm's brands and distribution infrastructure should "help the group overcome the drop in its soft drink revenue".

The Singapore-based soft drinks firm and Coca-Cola officially ended their partnership in October last year. The deal had seen F&N bottle and sell Coca-Cola's drinks in Malaysia, while Coca-Cola had done the same for F&N in Singapore.

Despite it being Coca-Cola's decision not to renew the contract, F&N said at the time that ending the partnership was a decision it would have taken anyway. Going forward, the firm said it will look to expand its regional presence and brand portfolio.

The firm operates a brewing joint-venture with Heineken, named Asia Pacific Breweries. F&N is also 15%-owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings.

Last November, F&N reported an 87.6% increase in full-year profits, bolstered by the divestment of Kingway Brewery. Net sales were up by 15% on the previous year.

F&N could not be reached for comment on the Business Week report.