Despite challenges of intensifying competition and unfavourable weather conditions, Malta’s Farsons Group saw its after-tax profit rising by a year-on-year 4.7% to €6.4m during the six-month period ending 31 July, with operating profit going up by 6% (€437,000), according to a press statement sent to Business Malta. The group’s turnover was up by 4% to €53.3m. Earnings per share increased by 4.4% to €0.213 for the period under review. The Board of Directors declared a net interim dividend of €1m.
The group said that its “steady performance” was maintained by continuous capital investments in operational assets and human resources. The group added that it will continue to focus on its strategic investments, on further product improvements and on pursuing its internationalisation plans.
“It is encouraging to report a steady performance across all segments within our group, which continues to deliver robust results despite competitive pressures,” said Norman Aquilina, Farsons Group Chief Executive.
“The changing market landscape and changes in consumer spending patterns, along with growing concerns on packaging waste, will continue to be important challenges for the Group, as will the maintenance of equitable market conditions that ensure a level playing field for all operators in the sector,” Mr Aquilina added.
Due to fierce market competition fuelled by “newly-important brands” and pricing challenges, the brewing and beer segment only recorded a marginal increase, the press statement says. Nevertheless, the beverage and food importation segment registered an improved 10.3% contribution to profit, while the franchised food retailing establishments maintained growth with an 8.6% turnover increase.
“The group reaffirms its commitment in internationalising the business while remaining prudently optimistic of the growth potential in existing and new markets,” Group Chairman Louis A Farrugia. “The Board of Directors recognise that the long-term investment strategy deployed over the years will continue to prove beneficial in providing in an efficient, competitive and profitable manner the diversified high-quality product mix sought by our customers,” Mr Farrugia added.