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FRASER and Neave's (F&N) third-quarter net profit slipped 3.5 per cent to S$38.6 million, or 2.7 Singapore cents per share, in the absence of contributions from now-sold Myanmar Brewery.
Excluding discontinued operations and exceptionals, profit from continuing operations rose 52.6 per cent to S$38 million for the quarter ended June 30, the drinks maker announced on Thursday after the market closed.
For the nine months to June, net profit fell 24.7 per cent to S$76.3 million.
Revenue fell 4.1 per cent to S$524 million during the third quarter due to lower contributions from the Malaysian beverages and the printing and publishing businesses.
Overall beverage revenue shrank by 8.6 per cent as Malaysian soft drinks volumes declined amid pricing pressures and the cessation of Red Bull sales. The weaker Malaysian ringgit also led to lower revenues. However, Singapore beverages improved amid marketing campaigns and improvements in the modern trade segment.
Dairy sales increased by 0.9 per cent as the Singapore business reported higher export sales and Thailand posted better sales volume.
Printing and publishing revenue fell 11.2 per cent to S$72.1 million as stronger retail and distribution sales succumbed to weaker printing volumes.
Looking ahead, F&N expects consumer sentiment in South-east Asia to be subdued. Sugar prices are showing signs of upward pressure, while milk-based commodity prices have stabilised. The printing and publishing business will continue to face "challenging" operating conditions in the near term, and F&N said that it will continue to invest in its digital business and new overseas markets for educational content.
The company has about S$700 million of cash for business acquisitions.