Australian confectionery manufacturer Snack Foods announced this week that it is to release new products in coming months, including a range of biscuits called Cookies Plus, as it hopes to continue double-digit profit growth, IndustrySearch reports.
Snack Foods, whose brands include Thins, Samboy, Cheezels, Players biscuits and Dollar Sweets, on Thursday reported a $6.636 million (€3.94m) first half net profit.
The net profit for the six months to 31 December 2002 was up 10.4 per cent on the $6.011 million net profit for the previous corresponding period.
The company declared a fully franked interim dividend of 1.7 cents a share, up from the partly franked dividend of 1.5 cents in the same period last year.
Sales revenue rose 3.7 per cent to $146.966 million, reflecting healthy growth in the key salty snack brands, including Thins chips, the story continues.
Snack Foods managing director Simon Rowell said the company had deleted unprofitable biscuit lines which had impacted on sales volume but sales were expected to improve in the second half.Rowell said the company was happy with the overall result, which met its forecast of double-digit profit growth.
"Going forward, to June, we'll be able to maintain double-digit growth over that period. On the longer term, we're also saying that we're confident that we continue to achieve satisfactory growth," Rowell told reporters.
Rowell said the company would look at biscuits with more attractive margins and which could be marketed better.
"The most immediate focus is on a new range of cookies, which is called Cookies Plus," he said."The manufacture of those will start next month, and we hope to get them on supermarket shelves in April."
The new cookies contain real fruit.
Rowell said Snack Foods was half way through a two-and-a-half-year programme to automate its factories to improve quality and reduce costs.The company said another aggressive marketing programme was scheduled for this financial year.Earnings per share rose 9.9 per cent, from 4.84 cents to 5.32 cents.