F&N eyes halal segment as new growth pillar following Sri Nona acquisition

Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&N) is establishing halal food as its new pillar of growth after acquiring three F&B companies for up to RM60 million last December - Sri Nona Food Industries, Sri Nona Industries, and Lee Shun Hing Sauce. CEO Lim Yew Hoe said the latest investment will serve as a platform to expand into more halal food segments and to meet the rising demand for convenience and ready-to-eat food products.

"With our robust R&D capabilities, we are confident that the new acquisitions will help us grow our halal food categories, complement our offerings, introduce more innovative products and increase our profit margin in the long run," Lim said. Sri Nona is known for its flagship product, the NONA Ketupat, and its range of oyster sauce. A+M has reached out to F&N for additional information on its plans for the halal market.

The group recently opened up F&N Life's fulfilment centre in Kuala Lumpur to offer consumers more choices such as self-pickup options and express next day deliveries for its online shoppers. This comes after it scaled up its eCommerce operations last year. Lim said it aims to set up more fulfilment centres throughout Malaysia moving forward to create a seamless consumer experience.

F&N concluded its financial year ended 30 September 2020 (FY2020) with a revenue of RM3.99 billion while maintainig a profit after tax at RM410.1 million, despite the pandemic and commodity price pressures. Its Thailand operations delivered over 70% of the group's bottom line last year, despite the pandemic and the ensuing emergency decree. Although the situation in Thailand remains fluid, F&N said its Thai business "will continue to demonstrate resilience and agility in FY2021".

The group has three strategic priorities for 2021 - innovation, cost competitiveness, and excellence in execution. Lim said it is confident that its skills, knowledge, expertise, capabilities, resources, and commitment will continue to steer it to achieve its goals in these uncertain times.

Last year, F&N's beverage arm named Lion & Lion to manage social media marketing for its selected brands in Malaysia for six months with the option to renew, following a costings exercise. The brands are Oyoshi, Sunkist, F&N Magnolia, Farmhouse, Carnation, Teapot and the F&N Condensed and Evaporate Milk range. F&N's director of marketing, Graham Lim, said then the process of appointing agencies is not an easy one, and it is especially important to have the right chemistry as well as a good understanding of its brands' identities. 

Photo courtesy: F&N's website

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