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Singapure: Asia Pacific Breweries’ H1 2011 profits increase

Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) on Tuesday announced that Group profit before interest and taxation (PBIT) for the six months ended 31 March 2011 rose by S$86.1 million or 34% to S$340.9 million. Excluding translation differences, gestation loss and the impact of acquisitions and disposals, organic PBIT grew 28%.

Group attributable net profit (ANP) increased S$48.9 million or 36% to S$183.6 million while Group revenue rose 23% to S$1.5 billion.

Earnings per share rose from 52.2 cents to 71.1 cents while the Group’s net asset value per share stood at S$4.40.

In view of the significantly higher final dividend paid last year, the Board has approved an increased interim dividend of 22 cents per share (14 cents per share last year), tax exempt (one-tier), to be paid on 20 Jun 2011.

Mr Roland Pirmez, Chief Executive Officer of APB said, “The attributable net profit growth of 36% is a result of our strategic investments in Indonesia and New Caledonia while Vietnam and Papua New Guinea continue to be key profit contributors to the Group. Strong demand for our brands in most of our markets accounted for the 23% revenue gain that the Group commanded.”

South & South East Asia (Singapore, Export Markets, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka)

Volume and PBIT rose 37% and 66% respectively, boosted mainly by the acquisition of the breweries in Indonesia in February 2010. Excluding the results from Indonesia from October 2010 to January 2011, PBIT grew 8% due to higher volumes in Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka as well as improved margins in Indonesia.

Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and Thailand

Volume for the region grew 17%, driven by strong consumer demand in Vietnam. Increased marketing efforts also lifted volume in Cambodia and Thailand. PBIT grew 26%, underpinned by higher volume and better margins in Vietnam. Excluding translation losses, arising mainly from the 16% weakening of the Vietnamese Dong, PBIT grew organically by 45%.

North Asia (China and Mongolia)

The region reported a PBIT of S$0.5 million, turning around from a loss of S$2.2 million reported last year. The improved performance was attributable to a favourable sales mix in China and a higher exchange gain of S$0.4 million from the currency realignment of the US dollar loans in Mongolia. Excluding the impact from such exchange differences, a loss of S$1.4 million would have been incurred compared to a loss of S$ 3.7 million for the same period last year.

Oceania (New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia)

Volume and PBIT grew 8% and 19% respectively. The strong performance was mainly attributed to contributions from the brewery that the Group acquired in New Caledonia in February 2010. Excluding the results from New Caledonia from October 2010 to January 2011, PBIT gained 8% on the back of higher volumes and improved margins in Papua New Guinea.

Corporate Office

The rise in corporate office expenses was due principally to increased provision for employee share-based expenses in line with the higher share price during the second quarter.

Outlook

“Rising inflation in our main markets may dampen consumer demand.

Strengthening of the Singapore Dollar against regional currencies, particularly the Vietnamese Dong, will continue to adversely affect the reported financial results of the Group.

The company share price has appreciated significantly resulting in a higher provision for employee share-based expenses in the first half of the year. Taking the current share price as a reference, similar provisions will be required for the second half of the financial year.”

11 May. 2011

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