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DB doubles profit

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 15th November 2000

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A decision to return to its core beer business appears to already be paying off for listed-brewer DB which has almost doubled its full-year tax-paid profit to $23 million dollars.

Its operating surplus before interest and tax rose 21% to $47.3 million on sales revenue of $530 million compared with sales of $637 million in 1999.

The latest figures also include non-recurring costs of $6.3 million associated with disposal of assets and investments following significant restructuring, including the sale of its Corbans wine business to Montana for $151 million.

DB says between October 1999, when the first restructuring announcements were made, and December 2000, when the capital reconstruction is expected to be completed, the group will have seen its employee numbers down from approximately 1280 to 500 and total assets reduced from $372 million to $185 million.

At the same time it says there will be improvements in key ratios - earnings per share, net asset backing per share and dividends per share - and the group will be essentially debt free and able to fund future investment from cash balances, cash flow and specific project funding.

The brewer says future growth will come from continuing improvements to operating efficiencies, as well as selling more up-market beer brands.

DB says a planned dividend payout in February will be dependent on the number of shares the company has on issue at the time.

If a proposed one-for-two capital reduction takes place, the number of shares on issue will be 50.4 million and the dividend rate per share will be 16 cents per share. However if the capital reduction does not go ahead, the dividend will be eight cents per share.

DB's major shareholder, Asia Pacific Breweries, now owns 76.63% of the company.

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