Simonds Farsons Cisk plc registered another year of solid and profitable growth. Whilst Group turnover for the financial year ending 31st January 2017 reached an all time high of €88 million, representing a marginal increase of 2% over the previous financial year’s record results, the profit for the year amounted to €12 million, an increase of €0.9 million or 8% compared to the previous year.
The strong performance for the year was registered across the Group on varying levels thanks to a series of favourable factors namely, the growth of the economy, an improved beer portfolio that was possible as a result of the investment into new beer products and packages together with the improved performance of the Group’s subsidiaries. These positive results are even more relevant given the increased depreciation charge arising after the commissioning of the new beer packaging facility, On the other hand, the continued spotlight on obesity and sugar consumption, coupled with increased taxes, impacted the consumption of soft drinks.
Group Chairman Louis Farrugia said: “Last year’s commissioning of the new state-of-the-art beer packaging facility has now placed the company in a much better position to pursue our growth ambitions through our export strategy. The improved results across the Group’s activities have been achieved through the determined effort of all Group employees led by a committed management team”.
Farsons Group Chief Executive Norman Aquilina commented, “The Farsons Group has, once again, delivered a very encouraging performance, consistently delivering improved year-on-year results. Moving forward, while continuing to seek growth opportunities for the group in our domestic market, we will maintain a strong focus on innovating and internationalising our business even further.”
The Board believes that the Group is adequately positioned to offer the required resilience while being able to respond effectively to evolving and increasingly complex market dynamics, both locally and overseas.
The Group’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year reached €21 million, a significant increase of €2.5 million over the financial year ended January 2016. The gearing ratio stood at 22% compared to 18% for the previous year while Shareholders’ funds increased by €14 million to exceed €123 million (January 2016: €109 million).
The Board shall be seeking the Shareholders’ approval at the forthcoming Annual General meeting to implement the proposed Spin-off of its property portfolio that is intended to be effected by way of a distribution in specie of its investment in the property company. It is the intention for the property company to eventually file an application with the Listing Authority for admission to listing of its shares on the Malta Stock Exchange.
The Board of Directors is recommending an increase in its final dividend of €0.2 million. As a result, once the final dividend is approved during the Annual General Meeting, declared dividend relating to the financial year ended 31 January 2017 shall amount to €3.4 million.