InNature eyes to raise RM120.5 mil from its February IPO

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): InNature Bhd, which is slated to list on the Main Market on Feb 20, has set its initial public offering (IPO) price at 68 sen per share, eyeing to raise RM120.5 million from its upcoming listing exercise.

The company, which is involved in the retailing and distribution of The Body Shop brand of cosmetics and personal care products, said it will proceed with its expansion plans following its listing, as the group is looking to increase the number of stores it has in Malaysia, as well as in neighbouring countries.

InNature managing director Mina Cheah-Foong said the company strives to open one to two stores in Malaysia next year; six stores in Vietnam, as well as two more stores in Cambodia, its latest venture.

The company currently has a total of 89 The Body Shop stores across Malaysia, 34 in Vietnam and one in Cambodia.

InNature also intends to further expand its Natura brand of products, which focuses more on social selling to push its products.

"We are targeting to open two stores this year for Natura. The stores would be more like showrooms to showcase our products and we are looking at a different distribution channel, as compared with The Body Shop.

"We will be relying more on social commerce, direct customer-to-customer (C2C) selling, as we believe that word-of-mouth is a good form of marketing," Cheah-Foong said.

The sales will be done through an app, with those that are interested in earning a side income being able to participate as a social seller.

Users do not need to keep any stock with them, as the products will be sent directly from Natura to the buyer, and the user will earn a commission from every sale.

"It's like direct selling 2.0. It is a unique way to market to consumers. Traditional advertising still works but we think that the best form of marketing is through word-of-mouth," she said.

On the question of timing of its IPO, given the current uncertain conditions, Cheah-Foong said the company accepts the market conditions as they are, and that the company is "not looking to time the market".

Over the past 36 years in which InNature has been in business, Cheah-Foong said the company has gone through many difficult times when the market was not doing so well, with the company never failing to post growth year after year.

"We have been in business for 36 years now and we have gone through difficult times, like during the time of the SARS epidemic or the Nipah outbreak before that.

"We continued to post growth, which shows that we are indeed a consumer staple," she said.

Cheah-Foong added that the company has taken into account the current market conditions in setting the 68 sen per share IPO price.

Besides increasing its number of physical stores, InNature chief executive officer Molly Foong said the company is also looking to invest in technology, to improve the productivity of each store.

"We want to ensure we get high productivity out of each store and do more transactions and increase traffic in each store. We want to increase our same store sales growth," she said.