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Moa sees 1H growth rate tad ahead of prior year

Moa sees 1H growth rate tad ahead of prior year, upbeat on China

By Rebecca Howard

Sept. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Moa Group, the craft beer brewer, told shareholders at its annual general meeting that its growth rate is currently running slightly ahead on the year and it has growing optimism around China although its bottom line will be impacted by heavy investment.

"As we are almost six months into the new financial year – the FY18 year - this is an appropriate time to give an update on our growth. Consistent with previous statements our growth rate has continued at the same levels – actually at a rate a little more than FY17 year," said chief executive Geoff Ross in speech notes published on the stock exchange.

He noted, however, the company has invested heavily during winter in brand and new product development and set up costs in China "so there has been solid spend in the last six months, which will hit the bottom line," he said.

The company reported a loss of $1.2 million in the six months to Sept. 30 last year versus a loss of $1.7 million in the prior year.

Despite the investment, Moa is expecting cash flow positive months in summer and a "significantly improved annual result." The company narrowed its annual loss to $2.4 million in the year ended March 31.

Ross said the company still expects to move past break even in the 2019 financial year.

Regarding China, he said there were several reasons for growing optimism. Moa has recently added to its distribution network now having access to distribution in new provinces as well as a new supermarket chain. It has also hired its first staff member in China, a New Zealander who has lived in China for eight years, as craft beer becomes more popular.

"There is some nice momentum building and we hope to see China take a bigger part of the Moa business in the second half of this year," he said.

Moa shares last traded at 41 cents and is down 46 percent on the year.



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