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Asia Pacific Breweries: PBIT for FY2011 Crosses S$600 million

•ANP increased 30% to S$ 341.7 million
•PBIT rose 23% to S$613.9 million
•Group Revenue advanced 18% to almost S$3 billion

Today, Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) announced its financial results for the full year ended 30 September 2011. Group profit before interest, taxation, and exceptional items (PBIT) rose S$113.8 million or 23% to S$613.9 million. Attributable net profit before exceptional items (APBE) increased S$42.6 million or 16% to S$303.6 million. Excluding translation differences, gestation loss1 and the impact of acquisitions2 and disposals3, organic PBIT and APBE grew 25% and 16% respectively.

An exceptional gain of S$36.8 million was recorded from the divestment of interests in Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd3 (KBH). This resulted in attributable net profit after exceptional items (ANP) rising by S$78.6 million or 30% to S$341.7 million.

Group revenue for the year gained 18% to almost S$3 billion. Earnings per share before exceptional items rose 16.5 cents to S$1.176. Compared to the previous financial year, net asset value per share gained 58 cents to S$4.96 while net tangible assets (NTA) per share gained S$0.57 to S$2.39.

The Directors have proposed a final dividend of 63 cents per share and a special dividend of 15.5 cents per share. Together with the interim dividend of 22 cents per share, total net dividend for the year is S$1.005 per share. The final and special dividends, if approved by shareholders, will be paid on 13 February 2012.

Mr Roland Pirmez, Chief Executive Officer of APB, said," Our double-digit revenue growth was mainly due to robust sales in markets such as Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. Sales volumes from Indonesia, New Caledonia and the newly acquired brewery in Solomon Islands also contributed to the improved revenue.”

“ANP grew 30%. The bottom line has been further lifted by an exceptional gain from the divestment of interest in KBH by our joint venture company,” he continued.

Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) and Thailand recorded PBIT and volume gains of 17%. Vietnam led the region with a double-digit volume growth although sales also improved in all the other countries. The Indochina region is the Group’s largest PBIT contributor at 47%.

South and South East Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and export markets) recorded PBIT and volume improvements of 30% and 20% respectively. Indonesia has emerged to become a new key contributor to the profitability of this region while PBIT in Malaysia rose 18% as compared to the previous year. While Singapore reported stable earnings, Sri Lanka turned in a modest maiden profit during the year. Excluding the results from Indonesia from October 2010 to January 2011 for a more comparable basis (as Indonesia was only acquired on 10 February 2010), PBIT for the region grew 6%. This region contributes 31% of Group PBIT and is the second largest PBIT contributor for the Group.

Oceania (New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands) reported a PBIT increase of 40% that grew on the back of an 11% volume increase. The robust performance was driven mainly by strong consumer demand in Papua New Guinea, improved margins from New Zealand as well as contributions from New Caledonia and Solomon Islands. Excluding the results from New Caledonia (from October 2010 to January 2011) and Solomon Islands (from June 11 to September 11) for a more comparable basis as New Caledonia was only acquired on 10 February 2010 and Solomon Islands on 6 June 2011, PBIT grew 33%. This region accounted for 27% of Group PBIT.

North Asia (China and Mongolia) reported a PBIT of S$2.1 million. Mongolia continued to report volume growth while the business model in China has been restructured to focus on the international premium segment.

Greater Demand Leading to Capacity Expansion

During the year, the Group expanded the capacity of several of its breweries.

In October 2011, the breweries in Danang and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam expanded their capacities to 1 million and 4.2 million hectolitres respectively to meet surging demand for our brands. The latter, the largest brewery in Vietnam, also added a second canning line that produces up to 90,000 cans of beer per hour, further sharpening its competitive edge and efficiency.

In August 2011, the brewery in Tangerang, Indonesia installed a new bottling line that is able to fill up to 36,000 bottles per hour. This has improved bottling productivity by 30%.

During the course of the year, new fermentation storage tanks were installed in breweries situated in Mongolia, New Caledonia and Sri Lanka. The additional capacities have improved the efficiency of the supply chain thereby ensuring that demand for our beers will be matched with a corresponding supply.

To cater to demand for Heineken and Tiger beers in China, the production capacity of the newly-commissioned Guangzhou brewery will be expanded to 1.5 million hectolitres. The expansion is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2012.

The Group also added to its capacity by acquiring a 97.69% stake in Solomon Breweries Limited in June 2011, thereby strengthening its presence in the South Pacific Islands. Solomon Breweries, which produces SB and Solbrew Lager, is immediately accretive to APB's earnings.

Operations Review

South & South East Asia (Singapore, Export Markets, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka)
Volume and PBIT for the region rose 20% and 30% respectively, boosted mainly by the acquisition of breweries in Indonesia in February 2010. On a comparable basis, excluding the results from Indonesia from October 2010 to January 2011, PBIT grew 6% driven by higher volumes in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka as well as improved margins from price increases in Indonesia.

Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) & Thailand

The region, led by Vietnam, continues to deliver double digit volume and PBIT growth. Volume for the region grew 17%, with improved sales in all operating markets.

PBIT grew 17%, underpinned by higher volume and better margins in Vietnam. Excluding translation losses, arising mainly from the 18% devaluation in the Vietnamese dong, PBIT grew organically by 38%.

North Asia (China and Mongolia)

PBIT for the region fell 61% to S$2.1 million due to higher gestation losses from our new start-up brewery in Guangzhou and divestment of interests in KBH by HAPBC, partially offset by improved margins from price increases. Share of gain from divestment in KBH has been reflected under Exceptional Items.

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

Volume and PBIT for the region grew 11% and 40% respectively. The robust performance was driven mainly by strong consumer demand in Papua New Guinea and improved margins from New Zealand as well as contributions from newly acquired breweries in New Caledonia (February 2010) and Solomon Islands (June 2011).

On a comparable basis, excluding the results from New Caledonia from October 2010 to January 2011 and Solomon Islands from June 2011 to September 2011, PBIT grew 33% due to higher volumes and improved margins from all operating markets.

Corporate Office

Corporate office expenses were higher than last year mainly due to increased employee share-based expenses as a result of the higher share price for the year offset by higher royalty income and lower business development expenses.

Outlook

Rising inflation in our main markets compounded by the recent 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.

14 Nov. 2011

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