COLOMBIA: Bavaria posts strong rise in profit

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Colombian beer group Bavaria has posted a strong rise in net profit for the first nine months of the year to COP213bn (US$107m), from COP25bn in the corresponding period last year.
Bavaria pointed out that its 2006 results were negatively affected by costs related to the restructuring of its debt, and the recent figures were boosted by the receipt of a tax credit relating to its 2006 tax return.
On the back of measures to streamline, simplify and strengthen its operations, Bavaria said operating profits rose by 23% to COP$496bn for the nine months.
The company said two significant developments had influenced its nine-month results, the disposal of Productora de Jugos at the end of May 2007 and the merger of Bavaria SA with Cervecería Leona SA in August 2007.
While the brewer said that beer sales on a comparable basis had risen by 11.3% over the nine months, it added that growth had slowed to 7.1% during the third quarter, with higher interest rates impacting on personal consumer spending.
“Despite the recent surge in interest rates, we have maintained positive growth rates with our sustained investments in brands and trade execution,” said vice president finance Jonathan Solesbury, “and further progress with the upgrade of the brand portfolio and packaging innovations.”
The company, in which SABMiller acquired a 98.89% stake in 2005, confirmed yesterday (31 Oct) that it had delisted from the Colombian Stock Exchange.

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