Cooper's profit jump

Discussion of Lion Nathan's failed takeover bid for the independent Cooper's Brewery and links to articles and other discussions.

Cooper's profit jump

Postby Oliver » Sunday Oct 02, 2005 11:11 am

Interesting story from ... 64,00.html

Coopers shows bottle
Cameron England

COOPERS Brewery's profits jumped by more than half last financial year as the local beer maker stormed ahead in interstate markets.

In a clear message to takeover predator Lion Nathan that it is managing well on its own, Coopers announced sales outside its traditional strongholds of South Australia and the Northern Territory increased by 34 per cent in the year ended June 30.

Managing director Tim Cooper said the result defied Lion Nathan chief executive Rob Murray's assertion that Lion could better market Coopers brews interstate.

"Revenue is up by 18 per cent from last year and profit is up by over 50 per cent," Dr Cooper said.

"We're getting the accounts out a bit earlier than we would normally to give the shareholders a chance to digest the information and be able to make decisions with as much information available to them."

Information is key to Coopers' 117 shareholders at the moment, as they weigh up whether to vote to remove Lion Nathan's share buying rights at an extraordinary general meeting this month, while the Sydney brewer has a $352 million, $260 per share takeover bid on the table.

Coopers yesterday announced record revenues of $127.2 million, resulting in a net profit of $14.3 million, up from $9.5 million.

A fully franked final dividend of $3 per share was declared, up from $1.05.

Dr Cooper said the company had budgeted for strong volume, revenue and earnings growth this financial year.

"We certainly expect double digit growth interstate and we're easily getting that," he said.

"Outside of South Australia and the Northern Territory we're growing at 34 per cent in the last year and over the last two years we've grown over 72 per cent."

Dr Cooper said legal costs as a result of the takeover bid would put a significant dent in this year's results, with costs in the millions expected.

Coopers' total beer volumes increased by 17.8 per cent in 2004-05 and annualised production volume was approaching 50 million litres per year.

Dr Cooper said the result was a clear demonstration that Coopers' 2002 decision to establish its own interstate sales and distribution business was paying off.

"Our subsidiary Premium Beverages commenced operations in March 2003 and our interstate beer sales have increased by 72 per cent over the past two financial years."

Coopers chairman and marketing director Glenn Cooper said no state outside of South Australia and the Northern Territory experienced growth of less than 26 per cent last year.

Mr Cooper said Coopers continued to claim market share from Lion Nathan in the South Australian market, reflecting the increasing support for the locally owned brewer.

Coopers beer volumes in the South Australian market increased by 7.6 per cent and by 42 per cent in the Northern Territory, in a flat overall market.

Dr Cooper said Lion Nathan's bid to get on to the Coopers shareholding register, which would increase its share buying rights, by buying into a recently-established company set up as a vehicle to hold shares for that purpose, was "aggressive".
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