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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     13 October  2011                    

Thai floods impact Malaysian firm

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Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) says there will be an impact on its earnings given that its dairy product manufacturing facility in Thailand has ceased production for now, due to floods.

However, it is still too early to provide estimates.

“Only when the waters recede, can we gain access to the plant and make assessments,” chief executive officer Datuk Ng Jui Sia said.

Ng, who was speaking after the company's inauguration of a new production line here, said in the interim, the beverage maker will up production at its Petaling Jaya facility to meet demands of the Thailand and Indochina markets.

Its Thailand facility produces dairy products for these markets.

The Thai arm contributes 14 percent to group revenue and 16 percent to group operating profit (H1FY11), according to AmResearch.

The house has not changed its earnings estimate for the company at this juncture, pending a meeting with management.

Meanwhile, the new RM42mil production line would boost F&N beverages' carbonated soft drinks (CSD) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) output by 30%, Ng said.

The line, brought in as a completely built-up unit, was procured from KRONES, a global manufacturer of production lines for filling beverages in PET, glass or cans. F&N's investment of RM42mil in the line encompasses machinery, equipment and training.

The commissioning of the line has helped the plant realise savings of about 8% to date due to a reduction in production costs and wastage while ensuring a cleaner, more hygienic process arising from minimised handling.

Running at full capacity since August last year, the line had already improved operational efficiency at the soft drinks plant by about 5 percent, Ng said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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