Singapore: APB’s attributable net profit 65% up in Q1

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Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) on Thursday announced a strong performance for the first quarter ended 31 December 2010. The company’s attributable net profit grew 65% or S$45.6 million to S$115.7 million. Group profit before interest and taxation (PBIT) advanced to S$207.5 million, an increase of S$71.8 million or 53% as compared to first quarter last year. Group revenue stood at S$856.9 million, an increase of 35% over the same period last year. The improvement in earnings was driven mainly by organic growth and new businesses.
Mr Roland Pirmez, Chief Executive Officer, APB commented, “The significant top line gain was attributable to volume contributions from our new businesses in Indonesia and New Caledonia, robust organic growth mainly as a result of beer price increases in Papua New Guinea and Vietnam and stronger beer sales in Singapore and most of our regional markets, driven by keen festive demand.”
South & South East Asia (Singapore, Export Markets, Malaysia, Indonesia* & Sri Lanka)
Volume and PBIT rose 82% and 134% respectively. The results of the corresponding period last year excluded performance from Indonesia as consolidated earnings from the market were only taken into account from February 2010. Excluding the results from Indonesia, the region reported a volume increase of 12%, owing to stronger sales in Singapore and Malaysia.

Indochina ( Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and Thailand
Overall volume grew 18% due to stronger sales, particularly in Vietnam, in the run up to TET (Lunar New Year). As a result of this increase in volume, together with price increases in Vietnam, PBIT rose 40%. Excluding translation losses, PBIT grew organically by 56%.

North Asia (China and Mongolia)
Turning around from a loss of S$3.0 million reported last year, the region contributed a PBIT of S$0.2 million. The improved performance was attributable to favourable sales mix, lower overheads and exchange gain of S$1.6 million from the currency realignment of US dollar loans compared to an exchange loss of S$0.3 million last year. Excluding the impact from such exchange differences, a loss of S$1.4 million would have been incurred.

Oceania (New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia*)
Volume and PBIT grew 12% and 20% respectively. The improved earnings were mainly due to the new profit contributions from New Caledonia as well as price increases in Papua New Guinea. The results of the corresponding period last year excluded the performance from New Caledonia which was consolidated for the first time from February 2010. Excluding the results from New Caledonia in the first quarter ended 31 December 2010, PBIT grew 4%, owing to better margins in Papua New Guinea.

With a stronger Singapore Dollar and a high proportion of the Group’s earnings from outside Singapore, the financial performance will continue to be sensitive to currency movements in the countries where the Group operates.
* On 10 February 2010, the acquisition of a 68.5% stake in PT Multi Bintang Indonesia Tbk (“MBI”) in Indonesia and an 87.3% stake in Grande Brasserie de Nouvelle Caledonie SA in New Caledonia was completed. As of 16 April 2010, APB holds an effective interest of approximately 80.6% in MBI.