19 Nov 2008

Singapore deal for beverage company

8:53 am on 19 November 2008

Charlies Group says a leading Asian retailer, Dairy Farm Group, has agreed to sell a range of its products in Singapore.

Charlies says this may pave the way for a deal that could double the size of the company.

The listed beverage company has been expanding its presence in Australia since buying a juice company, Phoenix Organics, in 2006.

Australia and other international markets now make up 15% of sales for Charlies.

If the drinks prove popular in Singapore, chief executive Stefan Lepionka says Charlies will work with Dairy Farm Group to expand into other markets.

Dairy Farm Group has 4000 outlets across Asia.

Charlies told shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday that sales are still increasing despite the economic climate.

Mr Lepionka says sales grew 7% in the four months to the end of October and gross earnings were $700,000 ahead of the same period last year.

He says Charlies will try to balance its emphasis on growth in the coming year with a greater focus on improving profitability.