As per the media reports, Lion Nathan Ltd’s first-half profit rose 6.9 percent as it sold more premium domestic beers. Lion Nathan is the Australian brewer and has been bought recently by Kirin Holdings Co.
A statement issued by Sydney- based Lion Nathan said that its net income rose to A$176 million ($136 million) in the six months ended March from A$164.6 million a year earlier.
Sales from larger rival Foster’s Group Ltd. were won by Chief Executive Officer Rob Murray, which he did by tapping rising demand for premium beers with new brews and increased promotion of brands such as Tooheys Extra Dry, which are more profitable than other labels.
It should be noted that annual earnings are expected to rise by as much as 16 percent for Lion Nathan, which saw low profit for three years.
Citigroup Technical Analyst Andy Bowley, who rates the stock “hold”, said that the timing of Easter, which falls in the second half this year compared with the first half of 2008, “means acceleration in growth.”
Lion Nathan saw its first-half sales rising to 6 percent to A$1.2 billion. Murray estimated that net income would rise to a range of A$305 million to A$315 million in the 12 months ending September. Lion Nathan saw its 2008 earnings ending at A$272.2 million.
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