Nestle posts record high 4Q earnings of RM133.5m, proposes RM1.35 final dividend

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): Nestle (M) Bhd posted a record high fourth quarter net profit of RM133.54 million, double the RM66.94 million reported last year, thanks to continued sustainable cost management. 

Nestle said the different phasing of marketing investments in 2017 also drove the quarterly net profit as investments were well spread over four quarters, compared with exceptionally high spending in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Earnings per share for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 (4QFY17) stood at 56.95 sen, compared with 28.55 sen in a year ago, Nestle said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia. 

Quarterly revenue inched up 2.54% to RM1.28 billion, from RM1.25 billion previously (4QFY16). The group said the rise should be interpreted in the light of a later Chinese New Year in 2018, compared to 2017, resulting in less sales taking place in 4QFY17 as against 4QFY16. 

Nestle said the revenue increase was supported by domestic sales that grew 4.5% due to continuous innovation and renovation initiatives, and successful marketing and trade promotions.

The steady domestic sales compensated the moderate slowdown in export sales, because of the later phasing of Chinese New Year in 2018, Nestle added.

Nestle also registered its highest full year net profit for FY17 at RM645.80, up 1.36% from RM637.13 million in FY16. Revenue climbed 3.89% to RM5.26 billion from RM5.06 billion in FY16. 

The group proposed a final dividend of RM1.35, bringing total payout for FY17 to RM2.75. The dividend is payable on May 31, with May 11 fixed as the ex-date. 

Moving forward, Nestle said it would continue with its “fuel the growth" strategy to strive for efficiency increases all over the supply chain and reinvesting the realised improvements into its sustainable growth. 

“(This would be) by innovating and renovating our portfolio and intensifying our trade and consumer promotions,” the filing added. 

Nestle’s share price closed up RM1.10 or 0.91% at RM121.50 today, after hitting a record high of RM121.50, for a market capitalisation of RM28.49 billion.