PETALING JAYA: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) expects the coming financial year to remain volatile due to ongoing geopolitical issues and with the prices of commodities and other goods and services remaining high.
However, chief executive officer Lim Yew Hoe said the group has developed strong fundamentals to navigate future uncertainties.
“The group has managed to maintain growth in its existing food and beverage business while integrating new businesses and setting up its agriculture pillar.
“This is a testament to our people’s adaptability and our resilience as an organisation,” he said in the company’s annual report released yesterday.
With its dairy farm in Gemas, Lim said F&N is suitably prepared to support the government in its ambition to create food security.
He said the company’s focus in financial year 2024 (FY24), as in FY23, will be on strengthening its existing brands.
“In East Malaysia, we also look forward to the recovery in tourism and a concomitant increase in investment into the region.”
In Thailand, Lim said F&N will capitalise on the tourism resurgence while continuing to meet customers’ and consumers’ needs with thoughtfully curated products.
“We also want to improve our penetration drive into more rural retailers so as to benefit from the digital wallet initiative proposed by the new Thai government, whereby all Thais aged 16 and above get 10,000 baht.”
Lim said he is also optimistic about sustaining the momentum in the group’s exports, given the gradual reopening of the global economy post-pandemic.
“Growth in Asean and China will have particularly positive spinoffs for F&N as they represent our key markets.
“We will continue to rein in our costs focusing on digitalisation to reduce manual labour and the use of natural resources while enhancing productivity.”
Concurrently, Lim said F&N will continue to strengthen its sustainability platform.
“Investments made to date have ensured that we integrate environmental and social principles into our operations for optimum long-term outcomes.”
For the fourth quarter ended Sept 30, F&N reported a net profit of RM137.56mil, which marks a 39.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase.
The group’s revenue for the fourth quarter rose by 9.4% y-o-y to RM1.24bil.
The stronger revenue was driven by sustained sales momentum in the Malaysian food and beverage business, higher group exports, contribution from Cocoaland and aided by favourable foreign exchange translation from a stronger Thai baht.
In addition to the stronger top line, F&N’s net profit in the quarter improved on the back of better margins and cost management strategies, complemented by the contribution from Cocoaland.
Earnings per share for the quarter ended Sept 30 improved to 37.5 sen.
Cumulatively, for full-year FY23, F&N’s net profit jumped by 40.1% y-o-y to RM536.9mil, while revenue rose by 11.88% y-o-y to RM5bil.
The revenue improved as markets recovered and the price management strategies implemented since last year took effect.
The group’s export revenue crossed the RM1bil mark in FY23.
In addition, the group also benefited from an expanded revenue stream following the acquisition of Cocoaland on Nov 4, 2022.
F&N’s operating profit for the year not only improved as a result of the stronger revenue, but also due to one-off non-operating items.
Source: The Star