Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September, 2023 at 7:01 pm by Andre Camilleri
The Board of Directors of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc announced the interim results for the six months ending 31 July 2023. During this period, the Farsons Group registered a growth in turnover across all its business sectors and a moderate increase in profitability, as it proactively responded to the prevailing economic scenario affecting its operations including inflationary pressures and a tight labour market.
The Group registered an increase in its turnover of 13.8% reaching a level of €65.2 million for the six-month period. Pre-tax profit for the period under review amounted to €8.1 million compared to €7.8 million in the corresponding period in 2022. Farsons Group’s trading performance was characterised by a notably strong demand for its products, in part reflecting the recovery trajectory of the tourism sector. However, the Group has sustained margin compression resulting from a combination of the impact of higher input costs, a continuing tightness in the labour market with an accompanying wage inflation, as well as cost of living pressures on household budgets. Earnings per share attributable to shareholders improved by 7% from €0.195c in the first half of financial year 2023 to €0.209c for the current six-month period.
Commenting on the Group’s performance, Chief Executive Officer Norman Aquilina said: “Management has been focussing intensely on cost containment by improving operational efficiencies across various sectors and averting passing on all increases to the consumer. We have also been responding proactively to shifting market demands by anticipating and aligning with changing consumer preferences. Margin compression is expected to remain a challenge and a market reality during the rest of the financial year and beyond, but we are actively engaged in the goal of restoring our margins.”
On the investment front, Farsons Group celebrated a significant milestone in June 2023 with the inauguration of the restored former Farsons Old Brewhouse, where all the food and beverage outlets are now open to business and generating increasing patronage. The Group is now shifting its attention to other growth avenues such as enhancing its logistical capacities to meet the growing demands of its beverages sector. Furthermore, the Group also embarked on the planning process for a significant investment in the Foods sector to develop warehousing facilities, offices, and a state-of-the-art logistics centre at a site in Qormi that already forms part of the Group’s portfolio.
While heralding the Group’s commitment to future investments, Farsons Group Chairman Louis A. Farrugia added: “The Board of Directors, together with the management team, remains focused on enhancing its adaptability and agility in responding to the current market and economic challenges as it vies for further growth. Following the results achieved in the six months under review, our outlook remains cautious yet optimistic for the remainder of the current financial year. In light of the Group’s sustained overall performance, the Board of Directors has resolved to declare an interim dividend of 5c0 per ordinary share as compared to previous year’s interim dividend of 4c5.”