Heineken chalks up 29% y-o-y profit growth, with no dividend declared

Heineken chalks up 29% y-o-y profit growth, with no dividend declared
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 20): Heineken Malaysia Bhd achieved a 29% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit to RM73.53 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1QFY21) versus RM56.96 million a year ago.

The brewery's quarterly revenue came in higher at RM547.738 million, up 6.17% from RM515.887 million in the previous corresponding quarter, due to the gradual adaptation by businesses and consumers to the new normal, easing of restrictions in March 2021, and effective execution of various campaigns, said Heineken in a Bursa Malaysia filing.

"In comparison, the improved performance in 1QFY21 versus 1QFY20 was also attributed to the first MCO (Movement Control Order), which required the group to fully suspend operations from March 18.

"The group profit before tax rose 29% (to RM96.65 millon), mainly driven by revenue growth, as well as effective revenue and cost management including deferment of commercial cost. Restrictions on social activities and compliance to government's standard operating procedures had also resulted in subdued commercial activations thus resulting in further cost savings," it added.

The board did not declare any dividend for the quarter under review.

On a quarterly basis, Heineken's net profit was also higher, up 34.35% from RM54.73 million in the immediate preceding quarter ended Dec 31, 2020. It is worth noting that its earnings in 4QFY20 was dragged by a one-off provision of RM14 million in December 2020 for costs associated with an organisational restructuring exercise implemented. Revenue grew 5.5% quarter-on-quarter from RM519 million in 4QFY20.

On the group's prospects, Heineken said it remains cautious as the Covid-19 pandemic persists. It expects the imposition of another nationwide MCO from May this year and continued restrictions on social activities to impact businesses.

"While the group is hopeful that the National Immunisation Programme would foster gradual market recovery, the intermittent lockdowns and restrictive measures in the medium term are expected to dampen our recovery momentum.

"Overall, the business environment will remain challenging for the rest of 2021," said the brewery.

Heineken's share price dropped 68 sen or 2.74% today to close at RM24.10, with barely 251,300 shares changing hands, for a market capitalisation of RM7.28 billion. Year to date, the stock has gained 4.7%.

Tan Choe Choe