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AUSTRALIA: Lion Nathan predicts full year profits of A$160m

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Australian brewer and winemaker Lion Nathan announced today that it expected to report net profits of around A$160m (US$83m) for the year, which is in line with market forecasts.

The figure will also be up from the A142m the company recorded for the 2000/2001 year end results.

A strong performance in the first half, which saw double digit growth, has offset the competitive export environment and one-off items which its wine unit will absorb.

In a statement CEO Gordon Cairns said: "Performance from our beer business, which is still 90% of our asset base, remains in line with budget. We are confident of delivering double digit growth in net profit (after tax and goodwill amortisation) for the six months to March 31, 2002."

Lion went on to say that the second half would also deliver "another excellent result in a challenging environment".

In the second half, "I am confident that despite our slow start we have strong earnings momentum in both Petaluma and Banksia," Cairns said.

Shares in Lion Nathan, which is about 46 percent-owned by Japan's Kirin Brewery Ltd, earlier closed four cents or 0.9% higher at A$4.67 in a slightly firmer overall market.

Lions statement, reiterated its comments on December 13 that it expected net profit before one-off items to be up by between 10 and 15% on the A$142 million earned in 2000/01.


Companies: Lion Nathan

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