Thai Beverage has reported 1% higher earnings of 8.47 billion baht ($375.2 million) for the 1QFY2021 ended December, from earnings of 8.42 billion baht a year ago.

See: 'Beerco', ThaiBev's impending spin-off, reports 1QFY21 earnings of $77 mil, up 72.4%

This translated to unchanged earnings per share (EPS) of 0.34 baht for the quarter compared to the year before.

1QFY2021 total revenue fell 5% y-o-y to 71.79 billion baht due to lower sales in the group’s beer, non-alcoholic beverages and food businesses. The lower figure was offset by the increase in ThaiBev’s spirits business.

Accordingly, gross profit fell 1.6% y-o-y to 21.28 billion baht due to lower gross profit raked in from ThaiBev’s beer, non-alcohol beverages and food businesses. This was offset by higher gross profit in the group’s spirits business.

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EBITDA for the quarter increased 6.3% y-o-y to 14.93 billion baht due to an increase in EBITDA of its businesses in spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, and offset by lower EBITDA from its food business and F&N/FPL.

Operating profit climbed 15% y-o-y during the quarter to 9.90 billion baht.

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Finance costs were 1% y-o-y higher at 1.79 billion baht.

Share of profit of investment in associates and joint ventures fell 50% y-o-y to 655.5 million baht.

For the 1QFY2021, the group reported 53% lower foreign exchange gain of 9.3 million baht compared to 20.0 million baht a year ago.

It also saw 130% lower impairment in value of investments to 6.4 million baht from 21.4 million baht a year ago.

Cash and cash equivalents as at Dec 31, 2020, stood at 17 billion baht.

In a regulatory filing released in the early hours of Feb 11, ThaiBev says the beverage industry began to recovery in October to December in 2020 due to the government’s economic stimulus measures, which led to improved sales in October and November.

However, a resurgence in Covid-19 infections in December 2020 led to a decrease in beverage consumption as consumers were no longer dining and drinking in restaurants and entertainment venues as much.

Spirits were not significantly impacted because of its “off-premise consumption nature”.

Other beverages can be expected to report recovery should the pandemic be gradually controlled, says the group.

The release of ThaiBev’s unaudited combined financial statements of the ThaiBev and the BeerCo groups is a one-time release in view of BeerCo’s proposed listing on the SGX.

The group will continue to announce its financial statements on a half-yearly basis moving forward.

Shares in ThaiBev closed 2 cents lower or 2.4% down at 80.5 cents on Feb 11.