SGX mainboard-listed Food Empire Holdings Ltd, a food and beverage manufacturer, is pleased to announce that it has achieved a significant 75.3% jump in its Group Profit After Tax to nearly $3.9 million for the first six months ended June 30, 2001.

The Profit came on the back of a 41.2% increase in Group Turnover to $33.4 million compared to the corresponding interim period in FY2000. At the operating level, the Group's Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation, grew 57.9% to about $5.3 million. Group Profit Before Tax was up 60.8% to $5.9 million.

The robust increase in turnover, despite a global economic slowdown, was due mainly to the Group's stronger presence and improved sales in its key markets of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Group profit improved significantly because of a higher turnover, a reduction in cost of raw materials especially coffee and non-dairy creamer, improved operational efficiencies and foreign exchange gain.

Food Empire Holdings' earnings per share increased to 1.12 cents in FY2001 from 0.64 cents previously. Net tangible asset per share rose to 8.85 cents from 7.41 cents.

Food Empire Holdings' Managing Director Mr Tan Wang Cheow said: "We are very pleased to have achieved this good set of results despite the challenging economic environment. Our intensive marketing and sales efforts are paying off and has helped us consolidate our brands in our key markets of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia."

He added: "Going forward, we will intensify our sales and marketing activities in our primary markets and continue building brand loyalty. We will also continue developing and launching new products for our instant beverage and frozen food businesses and explore new markets for our products."

Commenting on new businesses, Mr Tan said: "Our recent move into new areas of the food business, namely frozen processed food and confectionery products, is beginning to show results and we will continue to work on improving sales.

We have also recently embarked on importing and wholesaling frozen seafood in the Singapore and regional markets through our subsidiary Masters Corporation Pte Ltd. We believe there is good growth potential for this business."

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Directors expect the Group to maintain its performance in the second half of its financial year 2001.

About Food Empire Holdings

Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, Food Empire Holdings Limited is a leading food and beverage company that manufactures and market instant beverage products, frozen finger food, frozen seafood and confectionery.

Food Empire Holdings' products are exported to over 30 countries in markets such as Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, Indochina, Australia and the US.

The Group has 11 offices (representative and liaison) in 10 countries including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, UAE, Turkey, China and Vietnam.

The Group's core products include a wide variety of regular and flavoured coffee mixes and cappuccinos, instant chocolate and flavoured fruit teas. Enhancing the variety are breakfast cereals, coffee candy, frozen seafood and a delectable assortment of frozen Asian finger food made with no MSG, preservatives and colouring.

Food Empire Holdings has more than 40 types of products under its own brands MacCoffee, Klassno, Temasek Royal, Express, FesAroma, Café Veneto, Cosenza, Bésame, Orien Bites and MacCandy.