Business News

Laško Reports Higher Sales, Strikes Loan Extension Deal

Laško, 16 November (STA) - Beverage company Pivovarna Laško reported EUR 214.4m in net group sales revenues for the first three quarters of the year, up 3% year-on-year, largely as a result of the consolidation of the Kosovo brewer Birra Peja, which generated a revenue of EUR 15.8m.

The impact of Birra Peja merger excluded, nine-month operating profit of the group rose by 2.5% to EUR 27.9m. At just over three million hectolitres of beverages, this year's nine-month sales fall behind last year's output, the company said in an announcement on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange on Friday.

The operating results were reviewed on Thursday by the supervisory board, which also learnt that the management had reached agreement with the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank on an extension of a EUR 65m loan until the end of March 2013.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by EUR 3.6m year-on-year to EUR 43.3m. Financial expenditure resulting from impairments on investments amounted to EUR 33.3m, EUR 30.8m of which is due to a write-down on the 23% stake in retailer Mercator.

The group's long-term financial liabilities stood at EUR 25.5m at the end of September; no new long-term loans have been acquired this year. At the start of the year a deal with creditor banks extended long-term and short-term loans by an average 12 months.

At the end of September, short-term financial liabilities stood at EUR 345.7m, which is EUR 2.7m less compared to the same month a year ago. The consolidation of Birra Peja resulted in an increase in financial liabilities by EUR 7.5m.

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