Thai Beverage Public Company (ThaiBev) on August 14 announced that its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from normal operations for the 9 months ended June 30 grew 2.2% y-o-y to 32.85 billion baht ($1.45 billion) due to strong improvements in the spirits and non-alcoholic beverages segments’ EBITDA.

For 9M20, EBITDA from normal operations, including F&N and FPL registered a 3.0% y-o-y decline to 35.16 billion baht.

Total sales revenue for the period saw a 7.4% y-o-y decline to 190.10 billion baht due to the impact of Covid-19.

ThaiBev’s spirits sales revenue saw a slight decline of 0.5% y-o-y to 88.46 billion baht, while total sales volume of spirits decreased 2.5% y-o-y. Despite the temporary ban on alcoholic beverage sales in Thailand from early April to early May, along with other Covid-19-related measures such as the temporary closure of entertainment venues and restaurants in the country, this was mitigated by the recovery in sales of spirits in Thailand in May and June. The recovery covered most of the loss of sales in April.

ThaiBev said the spirits segment also remained resilient as a result of strong spirits product portfolio with a variety of segmentation and off-premise consumption nature.

In Myanmar, the group’s spirits segment was maintained due to its strong brand and market share in the whiskey segment.

EBITDA for the segment grew 4.9% y-o-y to 21.56 billion baht driven by the strength of the group’s product portfolio and reduction in selling expenses in Thailand and Myanmar.

ThaiBev’s beer sales revenue fell 14.2% y-o-y to 79.32 million baht due to the temporary ban on alcoholic beverage sales in Thailand and Vietnam. Total sales volume fell 15.6% y-o-y to 1.74 billion litres, mainly due to a decrease in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco)’s sales volume.

Excluding Sabeco, volume in business sales fell marginally y-o-y.

As a result of cost-saving initiatives in both Thailand and Vietnam, including closely controlled advertising and promotion expenses in Thailand, the segment’s EBITDA margin improved although EBITDA declined 9.3% y-o-y to 8.83 billion baht.

Sales revenue for the group’s non-alcoholic beverage segment saw a slight 0.5% y-o-y increase to 12.49 billion baht, though sales volume declined by 3.8% y-o-y.

ThaiBev says the segment continued to prudently manage its costs, thereby reducing advertising and promotion expenses.

Coupled with the profit generated from operations and a recognition of other income from gains on the back of insurance claims as well as cost control measures for the period, EBITDA surged 301.6% y-o-y to 1.71 billion baht.

ThaiBev’s food sales revenue fell 14.7% y-o-y to 9.94 billion baht as a result of the nationwide prohibition on dining in at restaurants and other food outlets in Thailand from April to mid-May.

During the lockdown, business was limited to takeaways and food deliveries.

EBITDA for the segment dropped by 46.9% y-o-y to 751 million baht due to fixed costs, such as rent and staff cost, despite the absence of revenue from dine-in business during prohibition, as well as slow business recovery after reopening.

As at end June, cash and cash equivalents stood at 40.63 billion baht.

Shares in ThaiBev closed flat at 60.5 cents on August 14.