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ThaiBev posts 38.5% year-on-year jump in full-year profit

THAI Beverage reported net profit of 34.7 billion baht (S$1.4 billion) for the 12 months ended Sept 30, a 38.5 per cent jump from the same period last year.

This came on the back of higher profits for spirits and food, as well as contributions from stakes in Fraser & Neave (F&N) and Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL). Also, net profit was buoyed by a decrease in net loss of non-alcoholic beverages business.

Excluding a 8.5 billion baht of fair valuation gains on financial assets, net profit from operations would have risen by a smaller 4.6 per cent to 26.2 billion baht.

ThaiBev holds a 28.5 per cent and 28.4 per cent stake in F&N and FCL respectively.

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ThaiBev's total sales revenue for the full fiscal year was close to 190 billion baht, a marginal decline of 0.02 per cent from a year-ago period.

This was due to a decrease in sales of beer business of 4.7 per cent and non-alcoholic beverages business of 0.9 per cent, although there was an increase in sales of the spirits business by 2.6 per cent and the food business by 1.5 per cent.

ThaiBev has changed its fiscal year-end to Sept 30 from Dec 31. It is paying a final dividend of 0.47 baht for the 12 months ended Sept 30, up from 0.4 baht for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2016.

The group noted that the beverage industry in Thailand has been affected by the slowdown in consumption during the mourning period for the late Thai 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. "Nevertheless, the business still delivered good business performance this year."