Frucor Beverages, part of Suntory Beverage & Food, sees 31% year-over-year decline in 2012 net earnings to NZ$22.6M, as sales fall 8.9%, selling and distribution expenses rise 20%

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , July 8, 2013 () – Frucor Beverages, whose parent Suntory Beverage & Food debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last week, posted a 31 per cent decline in annual profit as costs rose and sales fell.

The New Zealand bottler of Gatorade, V, Just Juice, h2go and Pepsi soft drinks reported a profit of $NZ22.6 million ($A19.46 million) in calendar 2012, down from $NZ32.8m a year earlier. Sales declined 2.3 per cent to $NZ405.8m.

Frucor paid dividends of $NZ10.9m last year, down from $NZ25.4m in 2011. The value of its brands was unchanged at $NZ13.2m.

While cost of sales fell 8.9 per cent, resulting in an increase in gross profit, its selling and distribution expenses jumped 20 per cent to $NZ97m and financial expenses were $NZ4.6m, up from just $NZ4,000 in 2011. Tax paid declined 28 per cent to $NZ9.4m.

The company is currently in dispute with New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department over the treatment of its optional convertible notes, and at the time of its annual report being published was still awaiting allocation of a High Court hearing.

Suntory Holdings acquired Frucor in 2009 from France's Danone and the local business is now held within Suntory Beverage & Food, which went public last week after the parent sold down its holding in an initial public offering that raised almost $US4 billion ($NZ5.18 billion).

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(c) 2013 Australian Associated Press

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