On 28 November, Simonds Farsons Cisk issued its Interim Directors’ Statement revealing that during the nine months up to 31 October, the Group registered increased turnover levels over the comparative period last year in its brewing, production and sale of branded beers and beverages segment, in its food importation business and in the operation of franchised food retailing outlets. On the other hand, as reported in the Group’s half-year results, the significant decline in sales value per litre of carbonated soft drinks continues to have an adverse effect on profitability. This is mainly caused by illicit importation of carbonated soft drinks in respect of which the Group is still making strong representations to the Government.
Simonds Farsons Cisk has managed to address the initial efficiency problems encountered with the newly commissioned production lines and thus it expects to benefit from production efficiencies from the beginning of 2009. The permanent cost reduction programme is also under way and according to plan. However the Group’s full-year results will be negatively impacted by charges relating to the early retirement schemes and the higher utility rates.
The Directors expect a material decline in profitability for the year ending 31 January 2009 compared to the previous year when a pre-tax profit of €4 million was generated. Notwithstanding this, the Directors believe that the Company remains well positioned to face the challenges ahead.