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Monday, February 19, 2018

Carlsberg hits fresh record high on upbeat prospect, dividend policy

Chester Tay / theedgemarkets.com
February 15, 2018 11:08 am +08

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd advanced by 46 sen or 2.76% this morning to a new record high of RM17.12, following news on its management being upbeat on the group's prospect this year and the release of its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 (4QFY17) financial result yesterday.

As at 10:23am, the counter pared some gains to trade at RM17.10, up 44 sen or 2.64%, while volume was thin at 58,300 shares.

The group has a market capitalisation of RM5.13 billion.

Carlsberg Malaysia's managing director Lars Lehmann yesterday said the group is optimistic of delivering an even better 2018 with continued sales growth expected for its Carlsberg and premium brands, as issues dragging its financial performance have largely been resolved.

This is also supported by special events such as the World Cup in mid-2018, when sales of alcohol products usually pick up, Lehmann told reporters yesterday at the group's results briefing.

Carlsberg Malaysia also announced that it posted a 6% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in its fourth quarter profit and announced a 77 sen dividend payout, comprising a final dividend of 66 sen and a special portion of 11 sen.

The stronger profit for 4QFY17 of RM50.01 million — compared with RM47.07 million a year ago — was mainly due to the continued recovery of its associate's business in Sri Lanka, Carlsberg's Bursa Malaysia filing showed.

Its quarterly revenue, however, declined 1% y-o-y to RM429.94 million from RM434.64 million.

For the full FY17, Carlsberg Malaysia posted an 8% rise in net profit to RM221.17 million from RM204.98 million in FY16, while revenue grew 5% to RM1.77 billion from RM1.68 billion.

In a statement, Lehmann said 2017 was a "satisfactory" year for the group despite the "regrettable" RM17.2 million trade offer adjustments in Carlsberg Singapore Pte Ltd related to prior years.

Lehmann also announced that the group will adopt a dividend policy targeting a 100% payout of the group's consolidated net profit, subject to business prospects, capital requirements, expansion strategy and other factors considered relevant by the board.

"It is also our intent to declare interim dividends on quarterly basis, where the target payout is at least 75% of the group's quarterly consolidated net profit with the remaining dividend declared in the last quarter. The board may also consider a special dividend in the event of surplus cash after considering the future cash requirements of the group," he said.

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