Asia Pacific Breweries has posted a healthy lift in Q1 sales and profits, driven in part by acquisitions.

The company, a joint-venture between Fraser & Neave and Heineken, said late last week that sales in the three months to the end of December leapt by 35% year-on-year, coming in at SGD856.9m (US$667.8m). Attributable net profits soared by 65% to SGD115.7m, while profits before interest and taxation (PBIT) were up by 53% to SGD207.5m.

The healthy profits performance was attributed mainly to  organic growth and new businesses, APB said.

Stronger sales in Singapore and Malaysia drove APB's quarter in south and South-East Asia, with Vietnam performing particularly well in the run up to the lunar New Year celebrations. However, although north Asia – made up of China and Mongolia - contributed a PBIT of SGD0.2m, the numbers were boosted by an exchange gain of SGD1.6m from the currency realignment of US dollar loans compared to an exchange loss of SGD0.3m last year. Excluding the impact from such exchange differences, a loss of SGD1.4m would have been incurred from the region.

APB's CEO, Roland Pirmez, said: “The significant top line gain was attributable to volume contributions from our new businesses in Indonesia and New Caledonia, robust organic growth mainly as a result of beer price increases in Papua New Guinea and Vietnam and stronger beer sales in Singapore and most of our regional markets, driven by keen festive demand.”    

Looking to the rest of the fiscal year, APB warned that, “with a stronger Singapore dollar and a high proportion of the group’s earnings from outside Singapore, the financial performance will continue to be sensitive to currency movements in the countries where the group operates”.

APB's acquisition of a 68.5% stake in PT Multi Bintang Indonesia in Indonesia and an 87.3% stake in Grande Brasserie de Nouvelle Caledonie in New Caledonia completed almost exactly a year ago.

To read the official release, click here.