Farsons profits soar 75 per cent
despite weak market conditions
The Farsons Group has reported a 75.34 per cent increase
in profits for last year, with profits reaching Lm1,038,000. Turnover,
meanwhile, was up by 3.2 per cent and hit Lm23.6 million.
Commenting on the positive results, Group Chief Executive Louis A. Farrugia
remarked how the remarkable improvement was achieved despite the fact
that, in general terms, last years domestic consumer demand had
not been particularly robust, while tourism arrivals were slightly down.
"We achieved our profit increase through increased market share
in our import business, as well as through managing to contain costs
throughout our business, in particular in our fast food business, which
was restructured last year," Farrugia explains.
Parent company Simonds Farsons Cisk increased its turnover by over Lm0.5
million to Lm15,532,000, while the turnover of the Groups import
business reached Lm4.8 million, representing an increase of 5.5 per
cent over the previous year. Both Wands Ltd and Anthony Caruana &
Sons Limited have grown by taking on the challenge of the growing demand
for imported brands and the liberalisation of the market place.
Food Chain Group reported a much-improved financial performance following
the restructuring of the operations carried out in January 2002.
Last year the Group acquired the remaining 30 per cent shareholding
in Eco-Pure Premium Water Company from American Liquid Packaging Systems
to make this Company a fully owned subsidiary of the Group.
Sliema Fort Co. Ltd, which owns the lease of Il-Fortizza in Sliema,
is now a fully owned subsidiary following the acquisition of the 50
per cent shareholding from Island Hotels Group. The plan to consolidate
all the Groups properties, outside the industrial land and building
the Group uses for brewing and bottling operations, under Trident Developments
Ltd has been completed and the company is producing very encouraging
Mr Farrugia also touched upon the diversity the Group has developed,
explaining how Farsons is no longer just a brewery or a soft drinks
bottler but a diversified group in the beer, beverage, food retailing,
leisure and property management business. Local brewing and bottling
of beverages now account for just over 60 per cent of the Group Turnover
with the remaining 40 per cent coming from non-manufacturing activities.
The Directors of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc have already declared and
distributed a net interim dividend of Lm70,000 to share holders of ordinary
shares and are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of Lm390,000.
These dividends are being paid out of tax exempt profits resulting in
a total dividend of Lm460,000 equivalent to 1c8 per share.