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GUINNESS MAKES PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 1991

GUINNESS MAKES PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 1991
 Highlights:
 -- Profit before tax: 956 million pounds sterling (up 13 percent)
 -- Earnings per share (diluted): 33.6 pence (up 15 percent)
 -- Total dividend for the year: 10.80 pence (up 15 percent)
 -- Free cash flow: 182 million pounds
 -- Interest cover: 6.9 times
 LONDON, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Guinness PLC today announced that profit before tax for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, increased by 13 percent to 956 million pounds. Diluted earnings per share increased by 15 percent to 33.6 pence.
 The board is recommending a final net dividend of 7.75 pence per share, to be paid on June 1, to those shareholders on the register at the close of business on May 1, 1992. This will result in net dividends for the year of 10.80 pence per share -- an increase of 15 percent. The dividend is covered 3.1 times by earnings per share.
 Free cash flow from operations, after tax, dividend payments and capital expenditure, was 182 million pounds, and the net interest charge is covered 6.9 times by profit before interest and tax.
 Over the four years since 1987, earnings per share have increased by 129 percent and dividends per share by 135 percent, compound growth of 23 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
 Guinness is one of the U.K.'s largest net exporters and during 1991 exports rose by 4 percent to 849 million pounds.
 Commenting on the results, Anthony Tennant, chairman, said:
 "It has been a difficult year for business in some markets with the disruption of the Gulf war and the impact of recession. Nonetheless, the strength of our premium brands and our broad geographic spread have stood us in good stead.
 We have continued to develop our businesses in the past year. We have improved the efficiency of our brewing and distilling operations with significantly increased capital expenditure. We have also invested 881 million pounds in 10 acquisitions to enhance both our spirits and beer businesses in a number of international markets. Furthermore we continue to build our brands through marketing expenditure which was ahead of 1990.
 United distillers, our spirits company, achieved profits of 749 million pounds -- an increase of 12 percent. Excluding the effect of exchange rates, profits advanced by 15 percent.
 During 1991 volumes were constrained by prevailing economic conditions, particularly in more mature markets such as the U.S., U.K. and Australia. However, we continue to derive benefit from growing demand for our premium brands in a number of markets, notably in Asia Pacific, Southern Europe and Central and South America. Encouraging market share gains were made in many markets of the world, notably by Johnny Walker Red Label in Europe and Asia Pacific, by premium brands in the United States, and by virtually all of our major brands in Asia Pacific and Latin America.
 United Distillers has extended the introduction of Revel Yell bourbon, aimed at the young adult market, to the U.K. and further markets in Europe. The line extensions in Scotch whisky introduced in recent years, particularly Johnnie Walker Premier and Oldest, have made sound progress.
 United Distiller has completed a number of add-on acquisitions in the past year. We acquired 67.5 percent of Asbach, which produces and markets the leading premium brand in Germany. Glenmore Distilleries was merged into a U.S. subsidiary, bringing ownership of Scoreseby, the leading Scotch in California, and increasing distribution strength. In Venezuela, where our Scotch whisky brands increased volume by 60 percent, we acquired a leading distributor, Morris E. Curiel, and Pampero, the largest spirits company in that market and the foremost producer of golden rum in the world. In Australia, the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Bundaberg rum brought the leading local spirits brand into our portfolio.
 Guinness Brewing Worldwide had another satisfactory year. Total profits advanced by 53 percent to 244 million pounds although excluding exchange effects and Cruzcampo, profits advanced by 17 percent to 183 million pounds.
 The Cruzcampo group, acquired during the year, produced profits of 61 million pounds, more than covering the financing cost and therefore justifying our confidence that the acquisition would not dilute earnings. The purchase of 70 percent of Union Cervecera establishes the group as by far the largest brewer in Spain, with a market share of 28 percent, and adds the Carlsberg brand to our portfolio. As part of this transaction, Carlsberg has acquired 10 percent of the enlarged Cruzcampo group. Trading in Spain was relatively good in the face of soft market conditions.
 Sales in Ireland were strong, with both Guinness stout and our lager portfolio gaining share. Sales in Malaysia and Singapore continue to benefit from our joint ventures in those markets. In a difficult market, our portfolio in North America has done well with encouraging progress made by a number of key brands. The market for beer in Britain has been exceptionally difficult, particularly on-premise, but Guinness stout continues to develop satisfactorily. Canned Draught Guinness maintained its momentum and has been launched in Ireland. In addition it is now in test market in the U.S., Germany, and Australia. Guinness Draught Bitter in a can, using the same technology, has done well in test in Britain and is now moving into national distribution.
 LVMH has announced an increase in earnings for 1991 of 11 percent to over 3.7 billion French francs. As a result of the increase, during 1990, of LVMH's holding in Guinness, the equity accounted pretax contribution we recognize was reduced by the additional financing costs, but earnings per share of both companies benefited. In 1991, LVMH re- balanced its shareholding, following the conversion of Guinness preference shares and loan stock. Each company now has an interest of approximately 24 percent in the other and neither has any intention of increasing its stake beyond this level. Our substantial investment in our partner has enhanced earnings per share even before we take account of the significant addition profits from our joint ventures, which continue to perform well.
 We remain committed to our strategy for the further development of Guinness PLC, which can be summarized as follows:
 -- Focusing our resources, financial and managerial, on our two core businesses of spirits and beer.
 -- Developing our unique portfolio of premium brands.
 -- Continuing to extend the international spread of the company's businesses.
 -- Getting as close to our marketplace as possible in all parts of the world in order to be best placed to anticipate and serve consumer demand.
 -- Developing opportunities for the group to work profitably in partnership with compatible companies to mutual benefit.
 This strategy is designed to achieve sustainable long-term growth in profits, earnings and cash flow. Add-on acquisitions and partnerships are a valuable enhancement of our core businesses, but we expect continuing organic growth, particularly of our many premium international brands.
 The group has again generated substantial free cash flow for reinvestment in our core businesses. Since 1987, in addition to our LVMH stake which cost 1.1 billion pounds, Guinness has invested 1.5 billion pounds on acquisitions. We believe there will be further opportunities in both beer and spirits.
 The tendency of consumers to buy higher quality brands whenever they can afford them is well-established. We are still seeing this process in the more buoyant economies, and it will resume with the return of greater consumer confidence elsewhere. We will ensure that our brands continue to occupy the high ground to which consumers everywhere aspire.
 There seems to be little prospect of a speedy end to recession in several major markets, notably the U.K. and North America and there is evidence of slowing economic growth in Europe and some other parts of the world. We appear to be entering a phase of lower inflation which will inevitably constrain the absolute level of all corporate profits growth. 1992 may therefore see conditions which are no easier for international businesses than 1991. Within this scenario we hope, nevertheless, to achieve acceptable growth in profits this year. Our premium brands and the continuing work to improve our efficiency, together with our add-on acquisitions, should keep us on track in the current environment."
 -0- 3/19/92
 /CONTACT: Murray Loake of Guinness, 071-486-0288, or at home, 0491-578116/ CO: Guinness PLC ST: IN: FOD SU: ERN


CK-TS -- NY037 -- 9650 03/19/92 11:51 EST
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Date:Mar 19, 1992
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