by ASILA JALIL / pic by BLOOMBERG
HEINEKEN Malaysia Bhd is actively engaging with the government to maintain the excise duty rates to curb the illicit trade activity which have been on the rise since the lockdown was enforced nationwide.
The group’s corporate affairs and legal director Renuka Indrarajah said the group has been in touch with the government for a number of years to manage the issue and work has been done by the customs department to step up enforcement.
“In East Malaysia, the issue is huge and accounts for at least 80% of the market there while in peninsular it is in between 15% and 20%. These are industry estimates. However during lockdown we saw a rise in illicit sales particularly on online platforms.
“Engagement with the authorities will continue and we need to look at new and innovative ways to handle this. Part of the engagement with the government is not to increase excise duty.
“This needs to be addressed and we hope the government will maintain the excise duty rates,” she said during a briefing on Heineken’s financial results for the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) yesterday.
The group recorded a net profit of RM25.27 million in 2Q21 compared to a net loss of RM18.19 million in 2Q20 due to higher sales compared to the same quarter last year when the brewer’s operations were suspended for seven weeks.
Its revenue rose 37.7% Year-on-year (YoY) to RM349.42 million in 2Q21 against RM253.74 million in the corresponding period last year attributable to higher sales as businesses and consumers gradually adapted to the new normal despite the intermittent lockdowns.
The improved performance was also mainly due to revenue growth driven by effective revenue management, optimisation of marketing spend and cost saving initiatives implemented by the group, as well as the one=off settlement of the Customs’ Bills of Demand of RM7.2 million in June 2020.
For the six months ended June 30, 2021 (1H21), the group posted a net profit of RM98.81 million, up by 154.9% YoY from RM38.77 million in the same period last year.
Revenue rose 16.6% to RM897.16 million from RM769.63 million a year prior due to higher sales from increased in-home consumption as business and economic activities started to recover in the first half.
The board declared a single tier interim dividend of 15 sen for the financial year ending Dec 3, 2021 to be paid on Nov 18, 2021.