Love of a tipple bottles extra profit for Penrice

The Australian report that increasing demand for a drop of red or white is expected to continue to boost sales for Penrice Soda Holdings, a soda ash and limestone producer.

Penrice is enjoying stronger sales thanks largely to the glass industry, which is using the company's soda ash to make more and more bottles to hold wine.The South Australian-based company has reported a first-half net profit of $4.39 million, with an unplanned plant shutdown in July last year lowering the result by $750,000.

The result compared with an $841,000 net profit in the previous corresponding period.

Excluding one-off items, the underlying net profit of $5.14 million was in line with forecasts from its prospectus last year.

Sales revenue rose 7 per cent to $65.6 million in the first half while earnings before interest and tax for the period were $6.1 million, up from $5.3 million.

Penrice CEO David Reid said the first-half sales growth came mainly from higher production of soda ash and a stronger soda-ash price.

"The expanded soda-ash sales and revenue were mainly a result of increased sales to the glass industry, which in turn were driven by continuing higher wine sales," Mr Reid said.

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600450 Love of a tipple bottles extra profit for Penrice
Date: 14 March 2006

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