Vitasoy Rebounds Amid Diverse Challenges in FY2020/2021

Vitasoy Rebounds Amid Diverse Challenges in FY2020/2021

HONG KONG, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —

Financial Highlights 

12 months ended

31st March 2021

FY2020/21
HK$ Mn

FY2019/20
HK$ Mn

Change

Net of
FX
Impact

Revenue

7,520

7,233

+4%

+2%

Gross Profit

3,954

3,851

+3%

+1%

EBITDA

1,281

1,097

+17%

+15%

Profit before taxation

767

679

+13%

+11%

Profit Attributable to Equity
Shareholders of the Company

548

536

+2%

+1%

Basic Earnings per Share (HK
cents)

51.5

50.4

+2%

N/A

Final dividend per share (HK
cents)

29.0

28.4

+2%

N/A

Vitasoy International Holdings Limited (SEHK Code: 00345) today announced its annual results ended 31st March 2021. As the world grapples with continued disruption of COVID-19, Vitasoy stayed focused on its business fundamentals and saw a steady increase in earnings in FY2020/2021, led by the growth in the Mainland China market.

Vitasoy management presents the latest VITASOY VITA Oat recently launched in its Mainland China market at the Company’s annual results for FY2020/21. (From left) Mr. Roberto GUIDETTI, Group Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Winston LO, Executive Chairman; and Ms. Ian Ng, Group Chief Financial Officer.
Vitasoy management presents the latest VITASOY VITA Oat recently launched in its Mainland China market at the Company’s annual results for FY2020/21. (From left) Mr. Roberto GUIDETTI, Group Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Winston LO, Executive Chairman; and Ms. Ian Ng, Group Chief Financial Officer.

The Company’s revenue increased by 4% to HK$7,520 million. Profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company grew by 2% to HK$548 million. The increase in profit was mainly due to cost optimisation and receipt of government subsidies related to retaining staff employment despite imploding revenues in Hong Kong. Gross profit margin sustained at 53% (FY2019/2020: 53%). Excluding government subsidies and in the absence of any employees’ reduction counter-measures, profit attributable to equity shareholders dropped 35%.

The Board of Directors recommends a final dividend of HK29.0 cents per ordinary share (FY2019/2020: final dividend of HK28.4 cents per ordinary share). Together with the interim dividend of HK3.8 cents per ordinary share (FY2019/2020: an interim dividend of HK3.8 cents per ordinary share), the total dividend for FY2020/2021 will be HK32.8 cents per ordinary share (FY2019/2020 total dividend: HK32.2 cents per ordinary share).

In standing up to the market challenges and uncertainties, Vitasoy has maintained focus on strengthening its core product offerings and improving operational efficiency. Mainland China saw strong market demand in the second half of FY2020/2021, driving the recovery of domestic business. Against the backdrop of continued lockdowns, on-the-go and on-premise consumption in Hong Kong, Australia and the Philippines were affected. Singapore was able to sustain revenue as increased demand in the local tofu business to offset a drop in impacted beverage and export business due to COVID-19 limitations.

Mr. Winston Yau-lai Lo, Executive Chairman of Vitasoy International Holdings Limited, said at a press conference today, “Last year saw the world endured unprecedented uncertainties, yet we continued our vision of providing tasty and nutritious products to our consumers and have given full attention to the safety and well-being of our employees despite diverse challenges across all our markets. In gradually scaling up our operations, we devoted utmost discipline towards the constant changes in markets and technology, shoppers’ evolving needs, financial performance and efficiency.”

Vitasoy maintained the investment in infrastructure with completion of its manufacturing projects on time and a new plant in Dongguan, Mainland China commenced production smoothly.

Progress in Vitasoy’s sustainability goals continued with notable recognition from external ESG ratings. The Company has been included as a constituent company of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices – Asia Pacific for the first time and Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index. Vitasoy has also been rated among the “top 100 global sustainable companies” by Corporate Knights for the second year in a row with an improved ranking from 90th to 62nd this year. In June 2020, MSCI raised Vitasoy’s ESG rating from “BBB” to “A”. The Company’s long-term vision built on sustainable plant-based nutrition remains a sound foundation for the future.

Mainland China Operation 
Started the post-Covid-19 recovery with both brands VITASOY and VITA growing

With strong market demand in the second half of FY2020/2021, Vitasoy China returned to a solid growth path to drive the Group’s recovery. The market reported an 8% increase in both revenue and operating profit in local currency terms, supported by growth in both the VITASOY and VITA business lines.

Due to RMB appreciation, revenue and profit from operations grew 11% and 10% respectively in HKD terms.

During the fiscal year, Vitasoy China introduced a new oat milk product – VITASOY VITA Oat to enhance its plant milk position. Infrastructure developments continued with the commissioning of our manufacturing plant in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, adding production capacity to support continued growth.

The business in Mainland China is expected to grow in FY2021/2022 with a focus on core offering innovation, complemented by integrated sales and marketing programmes, and strong execution in same stores and geographical footprint expansion.

Hong Kong Operation 
Sustained leadership and profitability in core categories amidst contracted Vitaland and export businesses due to continued COVID-19 impact

Vitasoy Hong Kong was impacted by successive waves of COVID-19, affecting the on-the-go channel, Vitaland school tuckshop and export business. Hong Kong revenue and profit from operation declined 12% and increased 32% respectively versus the previous year.

The growth of operating profit was attributed to strategic cost control and receipt of government subsidies related to retaining staff employment despite contracting revenue.

Encouragingly, the supermarket channel and online business registered growth. While there was growth in core plant milk and tea products for the Hong Kong operation, Vitasoy’s leadership position for both categories was sustained.

In FY2021/2022, Vitasoy will continue disciplined cost improvements whilst leveraging new campaigns on both VITASOY and VITA brands and exciting innovation to restore strong revenue growth.

Australia and New Zealand
Strong core business and multi-plants innovation mitigated pandemic’s impact

Revenue in Australia and New Zealand dropped by 1% in local currency as the extended lock-down severely affected the restaurant and coffee channel business. The drop in revenue was also caused by a distortion from shoppers’ stock up which took place in the last month (March 2020) of the prior year. This was evened by strong core business performance and the launch of new items in the Oat and Almond portfolio. Profit from operation dropped 16% in local currency terms, as the drought in previous year still affected part of Vitasoy Australia’s raw material prices, coupled with higher investment to continue to strengthen brand equity.

Revenue and profit from operation grew 5% and dropped 12% respectively in HKD terms due to Australian dollar’s appreciation.

Looking ahead, Vitasoy expects a return to revenue growth, driven by a new campaign to strengthen its brand across plant-based categories and the bounce back of the on-premise business.

Singapore
Pandemic impacted the exported tofu and the imported beverage businesses

Revenue from Vitasoy Singapore business was flat in local currency terms as compared to the previous fiscal year. Growth in the local tofu business offset the decline in imported beverage and exported tofu which were impacted by the pandemic. Profit from the operation dropped 39% in local currency terms due to additional staff cost to sustain local production in the context of the pandemic. The lock-down also delayed planned innovation which caused additional material costs.

In the coming year, Vitasoy Singapore will accelerate domestic tofu business and continue to drive the imported beverage portfolio and upon easing of pandemic restrictions, restart its export tofu business.

The Philippines
Build soymilk awareness to prime for market resumption 

The Philippines joint venture continued to operate in a very challenging environment. Encouragingly, the local team managed to achieve growth of the multi-serve business which partly offset the decline of single serve due to COVID-19 continuous lockdowns and extended restrictions.

The local team will continue to focus on driving the VITASOY portfolio towards the home occasion while continuing to prepare relevant programmes for the future growth.

Conclusion

Looking ahead, Mr. Lo said, “While market conditions continue to be uncertain and challenging, we stay confident about our long-term growth as plant-based food and beverages become more mainstream. We will accelerate our revenue growth and continue investing in infrastructure and brand equity to secure long-term growth of our brands amidst the increasing competition at both international and local level.”

For more details, please refer to the following document:

About Vitasoy

Vitasoy International Holdings Limited is a leading manufacturer and distributor of plant-based food and beverages. Established in 1940 by the late Dr. Kwee-seong Lo in Hong Kong China, the Company strives to promote sustainable nutrition through provision of a variety of high-quality products with Nutrition, Taste and Sustainability as the guidelines for its portfolio offerings. Vitasoy cares about the social responsibility and contributes to the communities that the company serves. Currently, Vitasoy has manufacturing operations in Hong Kong China, Mainland China, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines. Its products are available in about 40 markets worldwide.

Vitasoy is listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (00345.HK) and included as a constituent of MSCI Hong Kong Small Cap Index, Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Index, and Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Big Bay Area Index, and Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index, and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices – Asia Pacific, among others.  

Vitasoy website: www.vitasoy.com