Farsons Group improved its profitability during 2012 as a result of continuous improvements in both business and management practices which allowed the Group to derive strong organic growth despite the challenging economic environment. This was stated by Mr Louis A. Farrugia, during his Chairman’s address at the 66th Annual General Meeting of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc.
Mr Farrugia referred to the inauguration of the new €12.5m Brewhouse in September 2012. “The new plant was meeting operational expectations and permitted higher standards of energy efficiency and waste generation to be achieved”, he said.
In reviewing the performance of the Group’s business and brands, Farsons Group Chief Executive Mr Norman Aquilina said: “Despite the highly competitive environment and the challenges prevalent particularly in the food importation business, the Group generated a record level of turnover to reach €77.2m equivalent to a 9% increase over 2011 and operating profits rose to €8.0m from €6.4m within twelve months.”
“Our EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was at its highest level ever, reaching €13.9m. The gearing ratio, that is, the ratio of debt on equity and debt at the year end, stood at 24.4% compared to 27.2% last year and was also at its lowest for five years.” said Mr Aquilina
During his overview for 2012, Mr Aquilina said that Farsons’ export sales remained a strategic objective and a significant growth in volumes was derived from the Italian market and those in Africa and the Far East. The strength of Farsons’ own brands allowed this encouraging trend to continue.
“The Group was determined to build on this success and to pursue those efficiencies which would improve our ways of working and allow us to increase the profitability of the Farsons Group” said Mr Aquilina.
The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s recommendation of a final dividend of €2,100,000. An interim dividend of €400,000 had already been paid in October 2012.
Dr Max Ganado and Mr Roderick Chalmers were uncontested and elected as directors, while the other directors were confirmed in their posts. All resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting were approved.