24 November 17 The Business Times by LYNETTE KHOO
THAI Beverage reported net profit of 34.7 billion baht (S$1.43 billion) for the 12 months ended Sept 30, a 38.5 per cent jump from the same period last year.
This came on the back of higher profits for spirits and food segments as well as contributions from Fraser & Neave (F&N) and Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL). Also, net profit was buoyed by a lower net loss in its non-alcoholic beverages business.
Excluding 8.5 billion baht of fair valuation gains on financial assets, net profit from operations would have risen by a smaller 4.6 per cent to 26.2 billion baht.
ThaiBev holds a 28.5 per cent and 28.4 per cent stake in F&N and FCL respectively. Excluding its stakes in these companies, ThaiBev's full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were 3.9 per cent higher than in the same period last year at 32.7 billion baht. Net profit was 4.7 per cent higher year-on-year at 22.8 billion baht.
ThaiBev's total sales revenue for the full fiscal year was close to 190 billion baht, a marginal decline of 0.02 per cent from the year-ago period. This was due to a decrease in sales of beer and non-alcoholic beverages, which offset the increase in sales of spirits and food.
The group noted that the beverage industry in Thailand has been affected by the slowdown in consumption during the mourning period for the late Thai King and the implementation of the new excise tax act.
The new act changes the base of excise tax calculation from last wholesale prices to recommended retail prices, and imposes tax on sugar content in non-alcoholic beverages.
"Our product prices have been adjusted to cover the cost from both new alcohol excise tax and the first-ever sugar tax on non-alcoholic beverages," the group said. "Nevertheless, the business still delivered good business performance this year."
ThaiBev changed its fiscal year end to Sept 30 from Dec 31. It is paying out a final dividend of 0.47 baht for the 12 months ended Sept 30, up from 0.4 baht for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2016.
On a positive note, the group's Ebitda margin (excluding F&N and FCL) rose to 17.2 per cent for the 12 months ended Sept 30, from 16.6 per cent for the same period last year.
Shares of ThaiBev closed 1.6 per cent lower at 94 Singapore cents on Thursday.