Thai Beverage has posted a dip in profits for the first three months of 2010, despite a slight rise in sales in the period.

The multi-sector drinks producer, which owns the Chang Beer brand, said yesterday (17 May) that net profits in the three months to the end of March were down by 17.2% on the same period of last year, to THB2.51bn (US$77.6m), due to what ThaiBev described as “increased promotional activities across all business lines”.

The firm also highlighted “the increased severity of the political unrest (in Thailand) since the mid of March”.

Sales, meanwhile, increased by 8.6% to THB30.02bn, with ThaiBev's domestic market accounting for around THB29.27bn.

“We are pleased to report a steady start to the year and are encouraged to see sales increase in all segments,” said ThaiBev's president and CEO, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi. “As part of our diversification strategy, our non-alcohol business has also gained momentum to become a driver of sales growth.”

While beer sales were up by 8.3% in value terms, thanks to retail price rises to accommodate Thailand's excise tax rise a year ago, volumes were down by 4%. ThaiBev's spirits unit, which includes Scotland's Inver House Distillers, saw sales lift in both value and volume terms, by 5.6% and 1.25 respectively.

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