F&N sales slide despite strong growth in Thailand

Strong drinks sales in Thailand were not enough to prevent beverage maker Fraser & Neave (F&N) posting a quarterly drop in revenue and the Malaysian company warned the coronavirus pandemic would only worsen the situation later in the year.

The producer of canned and bottled sodas, dairy and energy drinks revealed that sales slid by 1.9 per cent to MYR1 billion (US$230 million) in the second quarter of the financial year, which begun in October. Pre-tax profit was flat at MYR134m, which it attributed to subdued consumer demand. The increased cost of dairy good production also weighed on earnings, the company said. 

Sales in Thailand rose 4.3 per cent taking the first-half’s increase in turnover to 10 per cent. The company said the surge was the result of a strong loyalty programme and the widening of sales from street vendors and shops.

F&N chairman Badarudin Jamalullail explained that consumer demand in the second half of the fiscal year would be muted because of the pandemic. 

“While there are many uncertainties as the crisis is still unfolding, we remain positive given our strong fundamentals, our robust balance sheet and strong portfolio of brands,” Badarudin said.

Founded in 1883, F&N makes and markets a wide range of dairy and drinks products, and has interests in publishing and printing. Among its key brands are Carnation condensed milk, Teapot tea and Ranger energy drink.