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Region ‘key driver’ for Tiger

Asia Pacific Breweries savours 45 percent growth in its profits

ASIA Pacific Breweries (APB) Ltd declared its half year profits rose by nearly 45 percent year on year, with its Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos activities serving as the “key driver” of growth.

The Singapore Exchange-listed brewery reported Thursday that the Indochina region generated US$93.8 million in profit before interest, taxation, and exceptional items [PBIT] for the six months ending March 31.

The profit formed around 52 percent of its $180.2 million global PBIT for the period and APB’s overall profits were up 44.9 percent from $124.4 million for the same period in 2009.

Operated as a joint venture between Fraser and Neave Ltd and Amsterdam-based Heineken NV, APB brews Tiger, Anchor, ABC Stout, and Gold Crown for the Cambodian market.

It operates across the Asia-Pacific region, but APB officials highlighted Indochina as a growth area in the six-month results.

“Indochina continued to be the group’s key driver of organic growth,” CEO Roland Pirmez said in a statement accompanying the results.

“The region ... recorded an impressive gain [in profits] of 38 percent that grew on the back of a 30 percent volume [of sales] increase,” the statement added.

Operations in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam brought in revenues of $160.2 million for ADP during the half year, 18 percent of the firm’s $897 million in total revenue during the period.

Revenue grew 17 percent from $767 million during the same period 2009.

But poor results from its Laos operations and a foreign exchange loss of $13.1 million hindered its regional operations, according to a statement
The firm also declared an interim dividend of 14 cents a share payable on June 23.

Last year, sales at Cambodia Brewery Ltd, which is part-owned by APB and produces beers such as Tiger in Cambodia fell 10 percent, according to its general manager.

Koh Tai Hong, of Cambodia Brewery Ltd (CBL), speaking ealier this year, said that the drop was caused by the impact of global economic crisis affecting income and therefore beer demand.

He thought sales would improve in 2010.

The Kandal province brewery produces an estimated 9 million of cases of beer per year and employs around 2,000 workers.

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