SINGAPORE (Feb 6): Fraser and Neave (F&N) saw its earnings grow 4.6% to $39.7 million for 1QFY2020 ended December 2019, from $37.9 million a year ago.

Earnings per share edged up to 2.7 cents for 1QFY2020, from 2.6 cents in 1QFY2019.

1QFY2020 revenue rose 8.8% to $505.2 million, on the back of higher soft drinks and dairy sales.

F&N’s beverages segment, which comprises soft drinks and beer, saw a 9.9% growth in revenue during the quarter to $124.5 million.

This was boosted by the earlier sell-in for Chinese New Year, successful execution of festive campaigns, and new product launches. In addition, F&N also saw maiden contribution from Emerald Brewery Myanmar, its new brewery in Myanmar which started commercial operations on Oct 1 last year.

Revenue from its dairies segment grew 9.9% to $308.0 million, bolstered by strong canned milk export, and successful launches of new products in Malaysia and Thailand.

As at end December, cash and cash equivalents stood at $387.9 million.

Looking ahead, F&N says it expects consumer sentiments in the food & beverage segment to remain challenging amid competitive pressure as well as governments’ drive to reduce sugar consumption.

The group also expects to see volatility in raw and packaging material prices.

Meanwhile, the group says it is closely monitoring the potential effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on its businesses, and will take all necessary measures to minimise its financial impact.

It adds that it will continue to explore new investment opportunities to further grow its beverages and dairies businesses.

Shares in F&N closed 1 cent lower at $1.68 on Thursday, before the results announcement.