NZ’s Lion Nathan makes a comeback

Brewer Lion Nathan has said that its New Zealand operations have made a comeback after two slow years.

The company said its half year group operating net profit rose 7% to $167.7 million (NZ$209 million) with strong revenue growth in the first half set to continue and a “significant step up” expected in 2009.

New Zealand operating earnings before interest and tax rose 4.2% to NZ$54.8 million. Volumes rose and revenue was driven up by brand growth, especially the recently launched premium brand Steinlager Pure.

“The overall LNNZ result was driven by strong performances from the beer, wine and RTD (ready to drink) portfolios with only the spirits component lower than the prior period,” the company said.

“An unusually hot summer along with the timing of Easter trading also assisted the result.”

Top performers included Steinlager Pure, Speights and premium brands Corona and Mac’s.

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