Louis A Farrugia

With 2021 proving to be a year of recovery at Farsons Group, a leading food and beverage conglomerate that is a household name in Malta, Group Chairman Louis A. Farrugia is optimistic about the upcoming year, despite the challenges that abound.

“Having fought our way through the severe immediate impact of COVID, we are now facing the economic aftermath. The consequential global challenges have been exacerbated by the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine.

“Business confidence is taking a hit from growing inflationary pressures and significant supply chain issues. Nonetheless, we are encouraged by the resilience that our business has demonstrated when tested, the strong revival of the on-premise sector and the growth in tourist numbers being forecasted.”

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, in announcing its financial results for year ended 31 January 2022, reported a profit before tax of €12.2 million, reflecting an increase of €7.7 million over the previous year. Group turnover amounted to €91.8 million, an increase of 26 per cent compared with €73.0 million the previous year. The recovery in turnover was registered across all segments of the Group’s businesses.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rebounded back to pre-COVID levels and amounted to €22.7 million for the year as compared to €14.9 million last year. The Group’s net borrowings amounted to €10.3 million, representing a decrease of €8.3 million from the year before. Gearing at the year-end stood at 12.6 per cent as compared with 16.8 per cent the previous year. The reduction in indebtedness resulted from the strong focus on trade collections together with the VAT and tax payment deferral schemes that remained in place during the year.

Farsons Group Chief Executive Norman Aquilina explained that “This year can best be described as a year of resilience and recovery during which we have delivered a good set of results in very challenging times. This was attainable due to a strong focus on execution and a step-up in productivity, a proactive approach in both procurement and pricing along with the disciplined implementation of alleviating our expenditure. The Group also maintained a dynamic and selective resource allocation policy”.

He further stated that “Our performance in the financial year ended 31 January 2022 has reaffirmed the strength of our brand portfolio and resilience of our business – our people, our operations, our financial strength. While this has certainly been a highly challenging year, it has made us a stronger business, better prepared for a fast-changing world”.

Mr Aquilina concluded by stating that “though the outlook remains challenging, the Group’s strategic direction is to return to a growth mindset” and that “resilient and resourceful, the Group remains determined to push forward its ambitions for further profitable growth, whilst always balancing profit with purpose”.

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