A BETTER performance from spirits and food and contributions from stakes in Fraser & Neave (F&N) and Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) boosted full year numbers at Thai Beverage.
Net profit came in at Bt34.7 billion (S$1.4 billion) for the 12 months to September 30, a 38.5 per cent jump from the same period last year.
Earnings were also buoyed by a decrease in net losses at its non-alcoholic beverages business.
Excluding Bt8.5 billion of fair valuation gains on financial assets, net profit from operations would have risen by a smaller 4.6 per cent to Bt26.2 billion. ThaiBev holds a 28.5 per cent stake in F&N and 28.4 per cent of FCL. Revenue was Bt190 billion, nearly flat from the same period last year.
A decrease in beer sales of 4.7 per cent and a 0.9 per cent fall in non-alcoholic beverage turnover were offset by an increase in spirits revenue of 2.6 per cent while the food unit was up 1.5 per cent.
ThaiBev has changed its fiscal year-end to September 30 from December 31. Earnings per share was Bt1.37, up from Bt0.75 a year earlier, while net asset value per share was Bt5.13, up from Bt4.78.
It is paying a final dividend of Bt0.47 for the 12 months to September 30, up from Bt0.4 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.
The group noted that Thailand's beverage industry was affected by the slowdown in consumption during the mourning period for the late king and the implementation of the new excise tax act.
The new act changes the base of excise tax calculation from last wholesale prices to recommended retail prices, and imposes tax on sugar content in non-alcoholic beverages.
Agents and retailers were alerted by the new excise tax effective from mid-September 2017, resulting in higher purchase orders before the excise tax increase.
“Our product prices have been adjusted to cover the cost from both new alcohol excise tax and the first-ever sugar tax on non-alcoholic beverages,” the group said.