CSR to export sugar to Singapore in February
Hishamuddin Hasan

The group will be focusing on enhancing its volume to Singapore, cementing a potential new export destination in the Mideast

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

CENTRAL Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) will export its refined sugar products to Singapore in February, making its maiden venture into the international export market.

CSR CEO and MD Datuk Hishamuddin Hasan (picture) said the group’s range of products that are low in glycemic index (GI) are well suited to be at the front line of CSR brands in the international market.

“We will be exporting the Better Brown sugar, which is one of our low GI products, to Singapore in February soon, and it will be priced at an affordable position.

“Although Singapore does not have a huge population, it is a significant market to go into as its people’s eating habits and level of health consciousness correspond with our products,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

Hishamuddin said for the export destination, the group will be focusing on enhancing its volume to Singapore, cementing a potential new export destination in the Middle East.

“We are confident our products will do well at any volume the Singaporean market can take. Apart from that, we are negotiating with several parties from countries in the Middle East to expand our products to new export markets. These two destinations will be our focus for this year,” he added.

While CSR’s revenue is expected to be heavily controlled by domestic consumption, Hishamuddin said the group is targeting 30% of the group’s total revenue to be generated through its export activities.

“We are currently in the second year of our five-year strategic plan. We expect to reach about 30% revenue from the export market by the end of it.

“With the added capacity at our plants in Shah Alam, Selangor, and Kedah through retrofitting works at the cost of RM50 million, by three years, we will hit that mark,” he said.

On the plan to shift the group into a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, Hishamuddin said the group is expected to begin its acquisition processes of a local FMCG company by the second half of this year (2H20).

“Right now, we are in the second year of our strategic plan that will steer our business into the FMCG direction.

“We have started to identify several local companies to acquire which will help us become an FMCG company, but we are not in a rush to acquire them.

“It is a five-year journey, we have spent 11/2 years organising our companies and we will be going to spend the next three years to continue looking into acquisition opportunity,” he said.

On further encouraging the public to swap their white sugar intake to CSR’s Better Brown sugar, Hishamuddin said the group is actively conducting programmes to increase awareness about healthier alternatives and the importance of consuming sugar responsibly.

“CSR had done a contest, the Better Brown Bonanza, which is part of our effort to educate Malaysians about the importance of responsible sugar consumption.

“Besides fulfilling customer needs, our goal is to create awareness about health issues and encourage moderate sugar consumption in order to enjoy a healthier lifestyle,” he said.