"I am very happy to report on the 2011 performance of our Company and credit these results to the strength and quality of our brands, the loyal support of our valued customers, the strength of our management team, and the undeniable talent and commitment of our employees. I also wish to pay tribute to members of our Board for their invaluable contribution to the success of our Company and to welcome Mr. Robert Wong to the post of Chief Executive Officer, which he assumed on January 2, 2012, to continue a successful career at Angostura.
Our 2011 after tax profit was $156.9MM with year-end earnings per share of $0.75. Net sales have grown by $75.4MM (12.1%) over 2010 levels and gross profits have increased by $32.1MM (8.9%). Our profit before tax adjusted for other income, fair value, impairment charges and foreign exchange gains is $192.1MM and represents an $85.9MM (80.8%) improvement over the similarly adjusted profit of $106.2MM reported last year. I am particularly pleased with these results in light of the national state of emergency which was in effect for the major part of the third and fourth quarters of the year and which dampened our activities during the Company’s peak season. Indeed this is an indication of the strength of our brands as our fourth quarter net sales grew by $10.1MM (4.9%) over 2010 fourth quarter levels.
This performance has driven an increase in shareholder value demonstrated by a $62.2MM (5.8%) increase in our total asset base from the 2010 to the 2011 year end, as well as an increase in our share price from $6.90 at year end 2010 to $7.75 at year end 2011 (a 12.3% improvement). I am pleased that the Company can now pay a 2011 final dividend of 12 cents per share.
Our debt burden continues to present challenges for us albeit in a much more manageable manner than was the case in prior years. I am happy to note that in addition to the 2011 refinancing exercise of a portion of our debt, we have in early 2012, made principal payments on the remaining debt and finalised refinancing negotiations with respect to residual outstanding amounts. We expect significant interest savings to flow to the Company as a result of these measures and look forward to reallocating our cash resources towards more value adding activities to further enhance the Company's performance.
In conclusion, I wish to particularly congratulate our management team for steering the Company to this point considering the challenges with which we were faced at the Executive level during the latter half of the year. Furthermore, your Board is satisfied that sound plans have been developed to achieve a continuation of this performance trend as we renew our commitment to ensuring the continued growth and improvement of our business.I look forward to your ongoing support."