During a meeting held on 25 April 2007, the Board of Directors of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc approved the financial statements for the twelve months ended 31 January 2007.
During the twelve-month period to 31 January 2007, the Farsons Group registered a total turnover of Lm26.7 million, representing a 2% increase from the previous year. Although no segmental information was provided detailing the breakdown of the Group’s revenue from the different areas of activity, the Directors stated that the Group experienced an increase in sales of beer and beverages following improved selling and marketing programmes as well as above-average temperatures during the year.
Cost of sales at Lm17 million were largely unchanged resulting in a gross profit of Lm9.7 million, 5.9% above the gross profit in the comparative period. Selling and distribution costs dropped by 5.3% to Lm4.3 million whilst administrative expenses of Lm4.2 million represent a decline of 4.2% from the previous year. The increased turnover coupled with lower selling and distribution costs as well as administrative expenses helped the Farsons Group generate an operating profit of Lm1.3 million (2006: Lm0.3 million).
Whilst in the comparative period to 31 January 2006 the Group had recognised investment income of Lm0.525 million arising from the sale of a property, this was not repeated in the financial year to January 2007. Meanwhile, similarly to the previous year, fair value gains on investment property amounted to Lm0.37 million.
The Group registered a profit before taxation of Lm0.97 million (2006: Lm0.49 million) and after deducting the tax expense of Lm44,000 (2006: tax income of Lm0.27 million), the profit for the year amounted to Lm0.87 million, significantly higher than the level of Lm0.21 million in the year to 31 January 2006.
During the year the Group recognised a loss from discontinued operations of Lm57,000 against a Lm0.54 million loss registered in the previous year which related to the disposal of the Galleria Complex. After taking into consideration the losses from discontinued operations, the Group generated a profit during the twelve months ended 31 January 2007 of Lm0.87 million (2006: Lm0.37 million).
Total assets of the Farsons Group as at 31 January 2007 amounted to Lm39.9 million (2006: Lm35.1 million) with shareholders’ funds of Lm16 million. The net asset value per share increased marginally to Lm0.62.
The Board of Directors have recommended the payment, out of tax exempt profits, of a final net dividend of Lm425,000 (1c65278 per share) to those shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 25 May 2007. Subject to its approval at the Annual General Meeting, the final dividend is expected to be paid on 30 June 2007.
Together with the interim dividend of Lm75,000 (0c29167 per share) declared last week, the total dividend in respect of the January 2007 financial year amounts to Lm500,000 (1c9444 per share), representing a 66% increase over last year’s dividend.
Group Chief Executive Louis Farrugia commented, “We are on the right track to further improvement. We are continuing to cut administration costs, improve productivity and quality as well as adding new innovative products to our portfolio. We are also pleased with our export results. Next year Wands Limited and Anthony Caruana & Sons Limited operations will be transferred to the new Logistics Centre and this will ‘free up’ this impressive site for development. The Farsons Group is transforming itself and adapting to the new realities of the market place”.