Zwack Unicum profit falls as margins narrow

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After-tax profit of Zwack Unicum, Hungary's best known spirits maker, fell 15% to HUF 1.44 billion in its business year ended March 31 as margins narrowed, the company said in an IFRS earnings report late Thursday. Sales net of excise tax fell 2% to HUF 12.08 billion. Zwack Unicum noted that research shows Hungary's spirits market as a whole contracted almost 10% during the period. Material costs climbed more than 1% to HUF 5.59 billion, causing gross margin to fall 5% to HUF 6.49 billion. The company cut its operating costs by more than 6% to HUF 5.42 billion. The board will propose to shareholders payment of a HUF 1.58 billion dividend on the business year ended March 31, the agenda for the company's annual general meeting published Friday shows. If shareholders approve the proposal at the AGM on June 27, Zwack Unicum will have to dip into profit reserves to pay the dividend as the profit and loss statement for the 2012/13 business year, calculated with Hungarian Accounting Standards, shows after-tax profit of HUF 1.20 billion. The dividend works out to HUF 775 per share.

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