Sam’s Groceria still looking for buyer

The company’s MD is looking to sell only 3 of the premium grocer outlets

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR

Hypermarket wholesaler Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd is still seeking a buyer for its Sam’s Groceria Sdn Bhd stores, 11 months after the company first announced the plan.

Its MD Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin (picture) said the company is looking to sell only three of the premium grocer outlets, namely in NU Sentral, Sunway Carnival Mall in Seberang Perai and Straits Quay on Penang island at RM20 million.

“I have not sold it (Sam’s Groceria) off but what I have done is converted some into Mydin supermarkets and closed down a few others. I still have three more. These three are doing reasonably well, so we are maintaining them until the lease expires,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

The hypermarket operator first announced its plan to divest Sam’s Groceria earlier in January as part of its internal restructuring exercise.

At that time, the group sought to sell all of its Sam’s Groceria outlets estimated at RM50 million.

The plan to sell the outlet came after the disposal of its loss-making convenience business venture MyMydin in April last year and the discontinuation of Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia.

Mydin posted its first loss in six decades in the financial year ended March 31, 2016 (FY16), with a net loss of RM156.61 million on revenue of RM2.99 billion. Ameer Ali cited the weakening of the local currency and the extension of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 as reasons for the loss.

The group has since recovered to post a small net profit of RM796,005 on turnover of RM2.93 billion in FY17 due to cost-cutting measures.

Mydin, with a strong following among low-to middle-income groups, has carved a niche in the Muslim consumer segment by offering fully halal products and locally manufactured goods. It currently has 78 outlets nationwide, excluding Sam’s Groceria.

“The challenge for Mydin is we only sell halal products. When it comes to premium goods, normally customers would be slightly different (from our target market), so we would have to sell stuff like liquor which is against Mydin’s principle of selling all halal products,” Ameer Ali said.

Sam’s Groceria has also been on a non-profitable run, posting a net loss of RM27.49 million on revenue of RM63.16 million in FY16.

Its accumulated loss stood at RM42.05 million as at March 31, 2016, and total liabilities at RM101.8 million.