PETALING JAYA: Heineken Malaysia Bhd, which posted a 4.6% jump in its net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), remains cautious about its outlook given the challenging environment due to intense competition, implementation of the sales & service tax (SST), and the continued presence of contraband beer in the market.
In line with rising global commodity prices, the group also expects an increase in cost of operations including raw materials and packaging.
Finance director Szilard Voros said how the group will perform in FY19 also depend on the market, adding that it will benefit if consumers remain optimistic and if efforts to curb illicit trade are stepped up.
“But we remain cautious because SST was just introduced in September so that also comes with a lag... we also need to see how things settle down after Chinese New Year and see what is the normalised performance and if there’s a growth continuation,” he told reporters at a media and analyst briefing today after announcing the group’s financial results.
Managing director Roland Bala (pix) said the external environment remains challenging. Amidst slowing global growth rates, currency volatility and uncertainty in the commodity markets, he said the group will need to adopt a cautious approach in cost management.
“Moving forward, we will continue to invest in our core brands and leverage on our portfolio. As consumer taste profile changes, we will make bets on brands that we believe will have scale,” he added.
Heineken’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 grew 6.8% to RM100 million compared with RM93.64 million in the same quarter last year due to higher revenue as well as efficient and effective management of commercial spend and overheads.
Group revenue grew 12.3% to RM662.28 million as compared to RM589.96 million in the same quarter in 2017 mainly due to increase in sales volume driven by the flagship Tiger brand.
For the full year period, net profit grew 4.6% to RM282.2 million from RM270.06 million a year ago, while revenue rose 8.3% to RM2.03 billion from RM1.87 billion.
It has proposed a final dividend of 54 sen per share for the quarter under review, bringing the full-year dividend payout to 94 sen.