Simonds Farsons Cisk plc registered another year of steady and profitable growth. Delivering an improved performance over the previous year’s record results, Group turnover for the financial year ending 31st January 2014 reached €78.6 million, whilst profit before tax amounted to €6.9 million, increases of 2% and 6% respectively over the previous year.
Profitability increased across all the Group’s business segments and the solid performance for the year was positively influenced by a stable economic environment, another record year of tourist arrivals and various other factors. Many initiatives have been taken within the Group to improve efficiencies and increase productivity.
Group Chairman Louis A Farrugia said: “The improvement in profitability is no coincidence but is the result of significant investments of nearly €30 million made in the latest technologies and operational improvements over the past five years. We are constantly seeking to produce world-class products in the most efficient way possible.”
In other developments, the significant €12.5 million investment in a new technologically advanced brewhouse last year began reaping rewards for the Group as it increased efficiencies.
Work has now started on a new €27 million beer packaging facility replacing all current bottle and can production facilities. This project will be completed by April 2016. This new facility will provide the company with the additional option of producing ‘one way’ bottle packages designed for export markets.
Referring to the property portfolio, Mr Farrugia said that the company has replaced all the original 1950 plant and buildings with 1990-2013 buildings, equipment and technology. Apart from leading to benefits for the Group, this has presented it with an opportunity to redevelop the original buildings by putting them to new uses.
An international firm of architects has been appointed to work on developing a master plan for the FarsonsBusinessPark and working out what sort of development can be undertaken in this iconic building. The first draft of the proposed master plan for the site is expected soon.
Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina said: “The consistent improvement in our results is evidence that we are steadily on course – despite rapid market evolution and fierce competition across all sectors in which we operate.’’
“We have maintained our strategic focus and determination to deliver improved results. Our ambitions for growth remain strong – a growth strategy which apart from being supported by significant investments is primarily being driven by innovation and exports.”
“Our unwavering commitment to render our business more efficient, so as to ensure that we continue to build and improve on our competitive advantage and strengthen our whole business model, remain areas of focus as we continue to develop our vision of broadening our horizons and growing our business,” said Mr Aquilina.
Shareholders’ funds continued to improve by over €3 million to exceed €95 million (January 2013: €92 million). Shareholders’ funds finance 63% (2013: 61%) of the Group’s total assets, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) stands at €14 million, an improvement of €267,000 over last year.
The board of directors is recommending a final dividend of €1.5 million resulting in a total declared dividend for the year of €2.5 million. This figure is equivalent to the amount declared last year.