Heineken Malaysia stays resilient despite economic headwinds


A plastic container with empty bottles of Heineken beers are pictured among beer kegs outside a restaurant in Singapore. - Reuters pic

A plastic container with empty bottles of Heineken beers are pictured among beer kegs outside a restaurant in Singapore. - Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Heineken Malaysia Bhd (known as Guinness Anchor Bhd prior to April 27) posted a net profit of RM56.92mil for the quarter ended Sept 30, slipping from RM63.1mil reported for the same quarter in 2015.

In a press statement, the brewer said the drop in profit, on the back of 5% lower revenue of RM384.82mil, was due to weaker macroeconomic conditions and softer consumer sentiment.

(Comparative figures were not provided in its latest quarterly report to Bursa Malaysia, as the company has changed its financial year end from June 30 to Dec 31 to coincide with the financial year end of Heineken NV, its ultimate holding company.)

Despite the weaker results for the quarter just ended, Heineken said, revenue and net profit growth for the past two quarters combined still recorded a respectable growth rate of 5.2% and 10% respectively due to the strong performance from the preceding quarter.

“The decline in revenue reflects the challenging environment which we operate in, especially as economic factors continue to weigh down on consumer sentiment. Consequently, profit before tax also declined due to the lower revenue and timing of commercial spend,” Heineken Malaysia’s managing director Hans Essaadi said in the statement.

“Heineken Malaysia has performed well in the preceding quarters, and we continue to adapt our strategy to address the changing and challenging external environment. Consequently, profit before tax also declined due to the lower revenue and timing of commercial spend.”

The company said that compared with the preceding quarter ended June 30, 2016, revenue declined by 16% due to lower volume as well as the impact of the strong performance in the preceding quarter as a result of the four-week long football tournament in June.

On its outlook moving forward, Essaadi said: “Whilst consumer sentiment remains soft in the market, we are hopeful that conditions will stabilise and improve over time. However, the high excise duties on beer is generating greater demand for cheap contraband products.

“We welcome the increased efforts by government authorities to clamp down on smuggling activities, and we will continue to support all efforts taken by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to curb contraband products.”

He also said that despite a challenging external environment, it expected to deliver a resilient performance for the financial period ending Dec 31, 2016. 

“As part of the Heineken Company, the world’s most international brewer, we intend to leverage on global initiatives by further optimising operational and cost efficiencies to deliver value for our shareholders,” he said.