NIB must get out of the liquor business and sell them shares in the Brewery!

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Here's to good results -- Julian Francis (at podium), Chairman, Commonwealth Brewery Limited, shares positive returns for investors at the company's first annual general meeting since going public last year. The AGM of the country's largest manufacturer and distributor of beer, wine and spirits was held June 28 at the British Colonial Hilton. (Photo by Derek Smith, Jr.)

NIB bought shares in Commonwealth Brewery to give Julian Francis – the man who help sold BTC – a job!

Nassau, Bahamas – Shareholders thirsty for good news got it June 28 when Commonwealth Brewery Limited held its first annual general meeting (AGM), reporting a $4 million increase in total revenue and net profit of $17.3 million, results that allowed the totally debt-free company to pay dividends of $0.58 cents a share, a 100% payout.

Shareholders who make up the publicly held portion of CBL turned out at the Governors’ Ballroom at the British Colonial Hilton, not just to hear results but to talk to directors and management of the company that went public last year, almost 25 years after the first bottle of its best-known brand, Kalik, The Beer of the Bahamas, rolled off the conveyor belt. Their appetite for information matched the information they got, robust, including the cautious optimistic projection for the year ahead.

“The first quarter results of 2012 are satisfactory and show a revenue growth of 9.5% for the three months ended March 2012 in combination with a $ 1.5 million increase in net income,” Chairman Julian Francis reported. “Whilst this is cause for a moderately positive outlook, we have to keep in mind that the economic environment is still not showing full recovery. Therefore, we should remain cautious in our expectations. Another important condition for the continued success of this company is that we continue to operate on a level playing field where everyone pays the same dues and the means to avoid paying are minimized. For that we will need the support of all stakeholders in our company: staff, shareholders and the government.”

Managing Director Nico Pinotsis echoed the sentiment of a positive outlook, noting a strong Spring break added to sales volume and revenue, though there were cost increases as well.

“In 2011, raw materials, consumables and services were up 7%,” Pinotsis said. “An increase in personnel costs was partly fueled by annual salary increases for cost of living and merit.” Cost of inventories rose $3.5 million. Utility costs increased $0.7 million, excise tax $1.1 million. The company bore the expenses of separation and retirement benefits as it transitioned to a leaner, brand loyal and customer friendly machine. Pinotsis also said CBL was reviewing the retail experience and trade operation in what both executives called an “increasingly competitive environment.”