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SINGAPORE: APB’s group revenue rises 20% in first nine month of 2011

Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) on Thursday announced a Group profit before interest and taxation (PBIT) of S$478.5 million for the nine-month period ended 30 June 2011. This represents a gain of 23% or S$91.1 million versus last year. Attributable net profit before exceptional items (APBE) gained S$38.4 million or 18% to S$250.6 million. Attributable net profit after exceptional items (ANP), further boosted by the exceptional gain from the divestment of interest in Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd (Kingway Brewery) in May 2011, grew approximately 36% to S$286.8 million as compared to last year. Excluding translation differences, gestation loss,and the impact of acquisitions, and disposals,organic PBIT and APBE improved 24% and 14% respectively.

Group revenue for the nine months stood at S$2.24 billion, up 20% or S$370 million as compared with the same period a year ago.

Mr Roland Pirmez, Chief Executive Officer, APB said, “Improvements in Group PBIT, APBE and revenue were mainly due to stronger demand for our brands in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. We also recorded an exceptional income of S$36.3 million with the recent divestment of interest in Kingway Brewery that further contributed to our ANP growth of 36%.”

In addition to driving organic growth in its existing markets to improve its earnings profile, the Group made strategic investments to further expand its regional network in recent months. Forging ahead with its premium brand strategy in China, APB commissioned its 50%-owned greenfield brewery, in Guangzhou in May 2011. It also extended its presence in the South Pacific by acquiring a 97.69% interest in Solomon Breweries Limited in June 2011.

Operations Review (YTD)

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

Volume and PBIT for the region rose 25% and 37% respectively, boosted mainly by the acquisition of breweries in Indonesia in February 2010. Excluding the results from Indonesia from October 2010 to January 2011, PBIT grew 4%, driven by higher volumes in Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka as well as improved margins in Indonesia.

Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) & Thailand

Volume for the region grew 18%, led by continued growth momentum in Vietnam. Increased marketing also lifted volumes in Cambodia and Laos.

PBIT grew 20%, underpinned by higher volume and better margins in Vietnam. Excluding translation losses that arise mainly from the 18% devaluation in the Vietnamese dong, PBIT grew organically by 41%.

North Asia (China and Mongolia)

PBIT for the region fell 15% to S$1.8 million. The region incurred higher gestation losses from the newly-commissioned brewery in Guangzhou while improved margins and volumes were reported in Mongolia.

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

Volume and PBIT for the region grew 10% and 27% respectively. The strong performance was mainly attributed to contributions from the newly acquired brewery in New Caledonia. Excluding the results from New Caledonia from October 2010 to January 2011, PBIT grew 20% due to higher volumes and improved margins in Papua New Guinea.

Corporate Office

Corporate office expenses were higher than same period last year mainly due to higher personnel expenses offset by higher royalty income and lower marketing expenditure.

Outlook

Rising inflation in our main markets compounded by the recent global economic uncertainties 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 further appreciated in the last three months, resulting in a higher provision for employee share-based expenses. Taking the current share price as a reference, additional provisions will be required for the last quarter of the financial year.

13 Aug. 2011

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