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F&N Q1 net profit up 47.5%

A HIGHER share of associated companies' profit lifted results for Fraser & Neave (F&N) in its first quarter. The group posted a 47.5 per cent increase in net profit to S$37.9 million for the first quarter ended Dec 31, 2018.

Revenue inched up 0.4 per cent to S$464.4 million from a year ago. Revenue from its Beverages business increased 7.6 per cent due to growth in Soft Drinks Malaysia and Soft Drinks Singapore, with main contributions from 100PLUS and F&N CSD on the back of strongactivations and promotions as a result of early sell-in for 2019 Chinese New Year festivities.

But this was offset by an 8.4 per cent decrease in Printing and Publishing due to lower print and distribution volume for magazines and timing difference in the publication of business directories.

Dairies' revenue was flat at S$281 million. But the business arm recorded higher profit contribution from the group's associate company in Vietnam, Vinamilk, as well as stronger performances in the core markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

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Largely supported by lower input costs, Dairies Malaysia and Dairies Thailand profit rose 74 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, said F&N.

Total share of associated companies' profits was up 39.3 per cent to S$23.7 million compared to a year ago.

Earnings per share increased from 1.8 Singapore cents to 2.6 cents. Net asset value per share firmed to S$1.98 from S$1.95 as at Sept 30.

The counter closed unchanged at S$1.70 before results were released.