SHAH ALAM: Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd registered a net profit growth of 5% year-on-year to RM291.02mil for the financial year ended Dec 31,2019 (FY19), driven by higher sales from Malaysia and Singapore operations.
This was also backed by the successful relaunch of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, premiumisation and innovation, as well as the RM16.3mil share of profits from Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC.
Carlsberg Malaysia also declared a total dividend payment of 100 sen per ordinary share for FY19, which translated to a payment of 105.1% of the group’s net profit for FY19.
Speaking at the group’s financial results briefing yesterday, managing director Stefano Clini(pic) said that the board had approved the continuation of the dividend policy targeting a 100% payout of the group’s consolidated net profit.
“This is subject to business prospects, capital requirements, expansion strategy and other factors that the board considers relevant.
“As such, the special dividend which has been declared since FY17 may not be a recurring one, ” he said.
Carlsberg Malaysia declared a fourth quarter single tier interim dividend of 17 sen per ordinary share.
In addition, the group has also proposed a final single tier dividend of 23.6 sen per ordinary share plus a special single tier dividend of 4.8 sen per ordinary share.
Clini said “we are proud to sustain top- and bottom-line growth every quarter in 2019, thus continuing to deliver sustainable shareholder value.
The rigorous implementation of our SAIL’22 corporate strategy delivered strong results behind premiumisation in both Malaysia and Singapore.”
In FY19, the group’s premium category contributed a 13% year-on-year growth in volume, with 1664 Blanc and Connor’s Stout Porter maintaining a strong double digit growth momentum.
As for the core beer segment, Carlsberg Smooth Draught continues to drive the overall category growth of 7% y-o-y, with a y-o-y volume growth of 24% in Malaysia and 30% in Singapore.
In addition, Carlsberg Danish Pilsner’s new look, practical betterments and better quality packaging contributed to a volume growth of 15% in the fourth quarter of FY19, compared to the volume during the same quarter in FY18. While the group’s craft beer Brooklyn Lager is a relatively new segment, Carlsberg Malaysia has recorded a volume growth of 58%, through the expansion of its retail presence on e-commerce platforms in Malaysia and premium supermarkets in Singapore.
Going forward, Carlsberg Malaysia maintains a cautious outlook ahead, in response to the lower gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasted at 4.5% in Malaysia and 0.9% in Singapore for 2020.
“Sales for the first quarter of FY20 will be impacted by the trade loading in December last year in view of the timing of Chinese New Year this year. Another important variable will be the impact of Covid-19 on the macroeconomy and consumer sentiment, which is difficult to fully anticipate at this moment.
“There will be some impact of Covid-19 on sales, as consumers will minimise frequenting entertainment outlets.
“We are seeing about 10% to 20% decrease in traffic at entertainment outlets, but we are unable to ascertain how much that will impact our sales at this point in time, ” said Clini, adding that it will be of more concern if the impact of Covid-19 extends to other sales channels and for a longer period of time.
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