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Fraser and Neave considering new businesses

Malaysia“s Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) is considering tapping into new businesses to enhance its food and beverage (F&B) operations and to bring the business back to the level before the econ…

Malaysia“s Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) is considering tapping into new businesses to enhance its food and beverage (F&B) operations and to bring the business back to the level before the economic crisis, its chairman Dr DatukYahya Ismail said. The company“s priority would be to bring back its business to the pre-crisis level, he said after the company“s recent extraordinary general meeting, adding that F&N would look at opportunities within the F&B industry. Currently, its plants in Shah Alam produces 30 million cases of food and beverages per year, 50% below its total capacity due to low consumption. However, the company is still expecting better performance in the new financial year with the improving economic conditions. “The soft drinks operation, which incurred significant losses during the last two years is expected to recover considerably in the year due to measures currently being implemented progressively to improve margins and to reduce overhead costs,” he added. On its plan to acquire equity interest in Kuala Lumpur Glass Manufacturers Company Sdn Bhd (KLGM), Yahya said the process was in the final stage, waiting for approval from authorities. F&N has proposed to acquire 100% equity interest in KLGM from Nylex (Malaysia) Bhd for up to RM 60 million cash. F&N and Nylex signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement for the deal recently. For the year ended September 30, 1999, the group incurred pre-tax loss of RM 68.3 million compared with a RM 11.9 million profit in the previous year on the back of lower turnover of RM 1.16 billion.

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