Strong export sales lifts F&N earnings in Q4 

KUALA LUMPUR: Beverage maker Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) reported a 26% jump in net profit to RM86mil in the last quarter ended Sept 30, as strong export sales mitigated the impact of a slight contraction in revenue.

"Despite higher commodity cost, group profit before tax grew 21% to RM108.3mil due to prudent cost controls on overheads and lower advertising and promotions spending," the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

It added that excluding the gain on disposal of “TEAPOT” trademark amounting to RM7.8mil, Covid-19 related expenses recognised in the current quarter, and other one-off/non-operating items in both periods, profit before tax improved by 15.1%.

For the full year, the Group recorded a revenue of RM3.99bil for while maintaining profit after tax at RM410mil despite Covid-19 pandemic and commodity price pressures.

“Our performance this year is bolstered by continued efforts in delivering innovative products with effective operational execution to meet consumers’ expectations throughout the year despite challenging circumstances," CEO Lim Yew Hoe said in a separate statement today.

"While we prioritised the availability of our core products to the market, we continued to offer new healthier and better value products that resonated with our consumers,” he added.

F&N operates manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and Thailand.

"Total exports from Malaysia and Thailand contributed RM796mil revenue to the Group this year, a noteworthy achievement in light of the pandemic," Lim said.

"We would have overachieved our target Group export sales of RM800mil in FY2020 in normal circumstances.” Commenting on F&N’s outlook in the upcoming financial year, Lim said that the Group remains cautious amid the Covid-19 pandemic and local uncertainties as both local and global situations remain fluid and uncertain.

"While mindful of our operating environment, this pandemic has provided us an opportunity for reset and to ‘reimagine’ our business strategies to fuel growth and innovation," he said.

F&N has proposed a final dividend of 33 sen a share for approval by shareholders at its upcoming AGM If approved by shareholders, the total dividend for FY2020 would amount to 60 sen per share, matching last year's payout.

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