Moa narrows full-year loss by lifting volumes while cutting costs

By Jonathan Underhill

Moa Group chief executive Geoff Ross.
Moa Group chief executive Geoff Ross.

Moa Group narrowed its full-year loss after the beer company increased sale volumes and cut operating costs.

The loss was $2.9 million in the 12 months ended March 31, from a loss of about $5.6 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 35 percent to $8.2 million.

Moa shares have rebounded since late August last year and traded recently at 66 cents, after a 12-month gain of 78 percent, although it is still short of its early 2013 highs of about $1.16. The company changed its strategy in late 2013 to a direct distribution model, shifting focus to the New Zealand and Australian markets, and outsourcing much of its production to McCashin's Brewery in Nelson to focus on higher-margin beers at its Blenheim site.

The company has grown sales and continued to lead the category, whilst improving margin and decreasing operating costs, said chief executive Geoff ross. "Much of the improvements made to operating costs only took effect in the second half of the year. So we look forward to the benefit of these for the full FY17 year," he said.

The volume of beer sold rose 43 percent to 1.7 million litres while operating costs fell 28 percent to $4.8 million, the company said.

Several months of the second half "were positive in building cash despite growth and the company building stock for the coming year," Ross said. "Cash at the end of the financial year was $1.5 million, down from $1.8million at the half year. The directors continue to monitor the company's cash position and are comfortable with the capital structure at this stage."

He said Moa expects to add South Korea to export markets including Australia, China, Brazil and Singapore. Growth in Australia, the biggest export market, had been "considerable."
The stock was listed at $1.25 in late 2012.

- BusinessDesk

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