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INDIA: United Breweries sees Q3 sales dip, but YTD stays strong

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  • Year-to-date net profits jump by 39.6% to INR1.66bn (US$31.3m)
  • Net sales in nine months to end of December rise by 10.5% to INR29bn
  • Operating profits climb by a third to INR2.6bn
  • Q3 sales fall by 12.7%, bucking H1 trend

United Breweries has posted a strong rise in profits for its year to date, but flagged that previous-year moves meant the numbers are "not comparable".

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In the nine months to the end of December, net profits at the Kingfisher brewer leapt by 39.6% year-on-year to INR1.66bn (US$31.3m) on the back of a 10.5% lift in net sales, to INR29bn. Operating profits in the year so far jumped by 31.4%, hitting INR2.6bn.

The brewing division of The UB Group highlighted, however, that the "amalagamation" of five smaller units into United Breweries in the previous fiscal year meant that the quarterly and year-to-date numbers "are not comparable with those of corresponding periods of the previous year".

Millenium Beer Industries, United Millenium Breweries, UB Nizam Breweries, Chennai Breweries and UB Ajanta Breweries were incorporated into United Breweries in fiscal 2012.

In the third quarter of the company's fiscal year, net profits rose by 17% to INR335.2m, while net sales slipped by 12.7% to INR8.3bn. Operating profits in the three-month period inched up by 8.9% to INR425.4m.

The quarterly sales fall represents a reverse in sales in United Breweries' H1. In November, the brewer posted a 24% lift in net sales for the six months to the end of September.

The Bangalore-based division saw its share price slip by 2.1% at the close today, following the release of the YTD results.

Late last year, United Breweries announced a change of CFO, with Henricus Petrus van Zon replacing Guido de Boer. The move was confirmed to the Bombay Stock Exchange yesterday.

United Breweries is 37.5%-owned by Heineken.

To read the company's official statement, click here.

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