Lion Nathan profit up by 13 per cent

BEVERAGES company Lion Nathan, recently swallowed up by Japanese brewer Kirin, has bid farewell to its shareholders and reported an operating net profit before one-off items of $313.1 million, up 13 per cent from the previous year.

The result does not include the one-time cost of the Kirin takeover and the acquisition of brewer James Boag. The company, which is no longer listed, did not release its bottom-line result. Group net sales for 2008-09 rose 7.1 per cent to $2.242 billion. Following its acquisition by Kirin, Lion Nathan has been fused with dairy company National Foods to create a $7.5 billion food, liquor and beverages giant. Rob Murray, the former chief executive of Lion Nathan and now boss of Lion Nathan National Foods, said growth of the Lion Nathan business in the second half was up 22 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The earnings strength came from its Australian operations, which lifted operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by 16 per cent to $515.7 million. Net sales rose 11 per cent and total volumes increased by 4.7 per cent against market growth of 4.2 per cent. Its line of premium beers continued to be a standout performer in the drinks portfolio, with Hahn Super Dry increasing volume by 40.9 per cent for the year. XXXX Gold grew by 6.2 per cent. Lion Nathan Wine, which contributes less than 1 per cent of the company’s total EBIT, was hit by volatility in the wine sector. While total volumes grew 9.7 per cent, EBIT fell to $4 million.

Source: WA Today

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