Heineken Malaysia Berhad announced its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for 2021 with an impressive comeback from a very sober 2020.
Both revenue and profits saw a significant increase compared to the same period in 2020 as the brewer recovers following the reopening of the economy in Malaysia during the year. Despite a longer lockdown period of 11 weeks in 2021 versus 7 weeks in 2020, group revenue rose 12%, mainly due to improved revenue management and PBT grew 62%. Excluding the one-off settlement and provision in 2020, Group PBT would have grown by 46%. The Group undertook bold moves to right-size the organisation and cost base, whilst driving revenue growth through effective commercial and marketing executions.
However, compared with pre-pandemic levels, the group revenue and PBT performance were still below the 2019 levels where Revenue was at RM2.32 billion and PBT was RM412 million, an indication that its business is still under the recovery phase. For the fourth quarter, group revenue increased by 33% to RM692 million compared with the same quarter in 2020. The significant growth was mainly due to higher sales volume, driven by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and earlier festive sell-in for Chinese New Year 2022.
During the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2021, price adjustment has been taken for certain products to compensate for rising input costs. Managing Director Roland Bala commented, “Our courage to right-size our organisation and front-load our cost and value initiatives during the crisis has contributed significantly to our performance. The board has proposed a single tier final dividend of 66 sen per stock unit for the year.
As for the outlook, the group remains cautious given the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases amidst the high vaccination rate, the continued closure of international borders resulting in lower arrivals of tourists, escalating input costs, as well as various logistics challenges posed by the pandemic. Roland commented, “We will continue to navigate the challenging external environment by adapting to the new market reality, ensuring the safety of our people, keeping a tight rein on costs, and staying focused on our strategy to accelerate our business recovery.
Heineken added that it welcomes the stance taken by the Government not to increase excise duties on beers and stouts in its Budget 2022, as any hike in excise rates will further fuel illicit alcohol demand.