Diversified retailer with a dominant consumer franchise

This leading pan-Asian retailing group, is an example of a dominant consumer franchise. We have been shareholders of this company in our Asia Pacific portfolios for many years and believe it is a high quality business with a long history of family ownership and long-term stewardship (130 years).

With more than 10,000 stores across 11 countries and a broad collection of retail franchises across much of Asia (including drug stores, supermarkets, 7-11 convenience stores, IKEA and Maxim’s – a joint venture catering and restaurants business), we consider this diversified retailer to be a high-quality business with plenty of long-term growth potential.

While the company has struggled in recent years, with its supermarkets facing greater competition from e-commerce, and Hong Kong and Macau facing short-term headwinds due to lockdowns and political issues, we believe this diversified retailer should be able to weather the storm. The group is undergoing a multi-year transformation under the new CEO who joined in 2017, and profitability in the supermarkets business has since improved. Additionally, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines have attractive demographics with good potential to become future growth drivers. With the implementation of a strategic plan, leadership changes and the introduction of centralised multi-brand buying, property negotiation and processing, we believe the group should continue to improve margins and grow the business in the long run. 

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Source: FactSet, Company reports and FSSA Investment Managers, as at 30 June 2022.

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