Carlsberg recognised for exemplary shareholder value


The Edge Media Group publisher and group CEO Datuk Ho Kay Tat presenting the award for the Highest Return on Equity over Three Years for the Consumers Products & Services sector to Carlsberg Malaysia, represented by managing director Stefano Clini and corporate affairs director Pearl Lai. – Photo by The Edge Media Group

AMID a relentlessly challenging year, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd was crowned the top performer with the highest return on equity over three years in the Consumers Products and Services category at the 11th edition of The Edge Billion Ringgit Club (BRC) Awards.

Carlsberg Malaysia has made The Edge BRC’s Top 25 list for 10 consecutive years since 2011 – a year after the awards’ inception – and has been among the best performing listed companies in the past decade. The brewer is one of only two corporate winners in the consumer products and services sector this year.

Carlsberg Malaysia’s net profit grew 42% to RM291.02mil in the 2019 financial year (FY2019), compared to RM204.98mil in FY2016.

Shareholders received total dividends of 100 sen per share consecutively for FY2019 and FY2018 representing 105.1% and 110.3% of net profit respectively, while dividends in FY2017 amounted to 87 sen per share representing 120.3% of that year’s net profit.

These dividends complement the Group’s current dividend policy announced in 2018 which targets a 100% payout of the Group’s consolidated net profit subject to business prospects, capital requirements, expansion strategy and other factors considered relevant by the Group’s board of directors.

According to the BRC awards methodology, Carlsberg Malaysia’s return on equity (ROE) increased from 71% in FY2017 to 118.3% in FY2018, reaching an all-time high of 183.3% in FY2019, giving it the highest weighted ROE over three years of 141.4% and clinching the top spot in the consumer products and services sector.

Within the same category, the Group also recorded the second highest growth in profit after tax over three years with a risk-weighted compound annual growth rate of 12.4%.

This is the third The Edge BRC award for the brewer, which previously won the Best Corporate Responsibility Award for public-listed companies under RM10bil market capitalisation twice in 2019 and 2014.

The previous awards recognised the Group’s commitment to its environmental and social priorities under its Together Towards ZERO sustainability ambitions and its efforts in giving back to local communities including its three-decade-long flagship community fundraising platform – Top Ten Charity campaign – which has raised over RM545mil for over 600 Chinese schools and education institutions to date.

“This recognition by The Edge BRC speaks volumes of the dedication of our employees and the solid relationships with our distributors, customers and business partners in our ongoing implementation of our SAIL’22 strategy and our aspirations towards being the most successful brewer in market performance, the most professional in our business relationships, and the most attractive to our shareholders,” said Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Stefano Clini.

“Like to many others, 2020 has proved to be a challenging year for the Group due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on revenue and profitability. Our diligence in implementing business continuity plans, reprioritisation of costs, processes and structures, as well as a disciplined approach to our ‘Fund the Journey’ initiatives have resulted in a turnaround in quarter-on-quarter performance for Q3FY2020.

“We will continue to focus on our strategic priorities and work closely with our business partners and distributors to be highly agile and adaptable within a volatile operating environment, upholding shareholder value while balancing the short and long-term sustainability of our operations in this new normal,” Clini added.

Carlsberg Malaysia had a market capitalisation of RM7.58 billion as of 30 June 2020 – the cutoff date for The Edge BRC’s list this year – which counts 161 nominees in this year’s assessment consisting of public-listed companies with a market capitalisation of RM1bil and above.

These corporate leaders account for over 90% of Bursa Malaysia’s total market capitalisation, contributing an estimated RM26.9bil in taxes for FY2019 which constitutes more than 40% of the Government’s annual estimates for corporate income tax collection.

Carlsberg Malaysia remains a counter of note within the MSCI indices in Malaysia, having been included in the MSCI Global Standard Index in February 2020 and reassigned to the MSCI Global Small Cap Index in November 2020 following the quarterly review for the MSCI equity indexes.

In its continuing pursuit of excellence, Carlsberg Malaysia has also recently received ISO 45001:2018 certification for occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems within its brewery and supply chain, recognising its enhanced procedures for safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, eliminating hazards and risks, and proactively improving its OH&S performance.

To date, the Group has set a new internal record of more than 700 days without lost-time accidents within the brewery.

The Group also marks its second year as a constituent in the FTSE Russell FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia (F4GBM) Index following the bi-annual review in December 2020, representing one of 75 leading Malaysian public-listed companies that demonstrate strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and performance.

Carlsberg Malaysia is currently one among only four fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies among the F4GBM constituents and is the only brewer.

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