Fraser & Neave logs higher full-year net profit on disposal gain

SINGAPORE - A gain from a disposal in August sent full-year earnings rocketing to $633 million at food and beverage giant Fraser & Neave (F&N).

This came on the back of a net gain of $542 million after the sale of its 55 per cent stake in Myanmar Brewery to Myanma Economic Holdings for US$560 million in August.

Revenue for the year edged up 0.5 per cent to $2.1 billion, thanks to improved contributions across its core dairies markets, especially from Thailand.

The dairies division turned in a slightly higher topline of $1.1 billion, due to higher canned milk volumes across key brands and lower input costs despite a weaker ringgit.

Turnover from the beverages divison was flat at $639 million, while the printing and publishing division's sales slid to $341 million, dragged down by lower print orders amid depressed selling prices.

Earnings per share came in at 43.6 cents. Net asset value per share stood at $1.57 as at Sept 30, up on the $1.11 as at the same time a year ago.

The group declared a final dividend of three cents per share, to be paid out on Feb 19.

Together with the interim dividend of two cents, this brings the total dividend for the year to five cents, unchanged from last year.

The results were released after markets closed.

F&N shares closed three cents or 1.4 per cent up at $2.17, before the results were released.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg