F&N's Q2 profit slumps 54% due partly to divestment

Despite the earnings dip, Mr Koh, chairman of the board executive committee, said F&N has made a "strong start" to the year. Net profit from continuing operations in the second quarter jumped 32.1 per cent to $11.6 million.
Despite the earnings dip, Mr Koh, chairman of the board executive committee, said F&N has made a "strong start" to the year. Net profit from continuing operations in the second quarter jumped 32.1 per cent to $11.6 million. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Food and beverage giant Fraser & Neave (F&N) posted a steep drop in second-quarter earnings due in part to the absence of profits from discontinued operations.

Net profit slumped 54.1 per cent to $12 million for the three months to March 31, well down from the $26.2 million in the same period a year ago.

Net profit from continuing operations jumped 32.1 per cent to $11.6 million.

Discontinued operations refer to the group's divestment of its brewery in Myanmar in August last year.

Revenue dipped 4.9 per cent to $474.3 million, on the back of lower contributions from the dairies and printing and publishing businesses.

  • AT A GLANCE

    NET PROFIT: $12 million (-54.1%)

    REVENUE: $474.3 million (-4.9%)

    DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 1.5 cents (-25%)

Net profit for the half-year fell 38.5 per cent to $37.7 million, while revenue slid 8.2 per cent to $962.8 million. Net profit from continuing operations rose 33.3 per cent to $37.2 million.

F&N declared an interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share, lower than the two cents last year, to "reflect the group's underlying operational results following the sale of its brewery in Myanmar".

The dividend will be paid out on June 9.

Profit before interest and tax for the F&B segment during the quarter rose 29 per cent to $37.2 million thanks to bigger margins, which expanded from 6.9 per cent to 9.2 per cent.

Group profit before interest and tax, as a result, grew 11 per cent to $28.4 million.

Earnings per share for the quarter fell to 0.8 cent compared with the 1.8 cents previously, while net asset value per share stood at $1.73 as at March 31, up from $1.57 as at Sept 30 last year.

Mr Koh Poh Tiong, chairman of the F&N board executive committee, said in a statement that F&N has made a "strong start" to the year.

"Our performance over the first six months... was attributed to robust volume growth of our core brands in markets of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, driven by good festive demand.

"However, we remain cautious amid a soft global economy and subdued consumer sentiments, and we will continually review our marketing spend and investment plans."

Still, Mr Koh added that the group continues to have its sights "fixed firmly" on expanding in the region.

"We are confident that we will strike the right balance between seeding and growing new markets for long-term sustainable growth and delivering financial performance this year."

F&N shares closed unchanged at $1.935 yesterday, before the results were announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'F&N's Q2 profit slumps 54% due partly to divestment'. Print Edition | Subscribe