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Monday, 2 July 2018

(The Star) Suiwah to expand online shopping platform

GEORGE TOWN: Suiwah Corp Bhd is planning to expand its online shopping platform to drive the group’s growth in 2019 and beyond.

Group executive director Cynthia Hwang (pic) told StarBiz that the group will introduce an e-commerce platform for its departmental store products and organic consumer goods early next year.

“We already have a portal to sell our grocery store products that we started five years ago.

“Business was slow during the initial three years.

“However, the growth in sales has been about 10% per annum for the past two years,” Hwang said.

The group had also started selling online ladies wear under its own brandname a.s.a.p recently.

Hwang said the online business would start contributing to group revenue in 2019.

“There are about 22 million Internet users in the country currently, of which about 80% shop online to save time.

“Grocery products are among the top-selling items,” she added.

According to Hwang, the e-commerce market in Malaysia is expected to increase to US$2.5bil by 2022 from US$1.3bil in 2018.

According to Statista, the Internet user penetration rate will hit 63% by 2022 from 51.4% now.

“The average revenue per user currently amounts to US$79.15,” the report added.

According to the Malaysia Retail Association (MRA), the retail sector is expected to enjoy a 6.3% growth, up from an earlier forecast of 3.7%, following the zerorisation of the goods and services tax (GST).

The retail sale growth rate for the third quarter has also been revised to 6.8%, up from an earlier forecast of 5.2%, the MRA report added.

“For the final quarter, the retail growth rate has been revised downwards to 3.5%, down from an earlier projection of 5%.

“This lower adjustment is to reflect higher consumer spending during the three-month period with the zero-rated GST.

“Major purchases are expected to have been made from June to August this year,” the report said.

Moving ahead, Hwang said the group has set up the Sunshine Upscale Retail Excellence Centre to train young management trainees by way of a work and study programme.

“The investment is to provide long-term competitive advantage for the group and ensure pivotal talents are identified and nurtured,” she added.

As at May 31, 2017, the group’s shareholders’ fund remained strong at RM221.81mil, which provides a net asset value per share of RM3.87 (2016: RM3.72).

The group’s plant and equipment net book value as at May 31, 2017 increased by RM45.43mil.

This amount includes capital work in progress in respect of its new mixed-development project in Farlim that will be opened in early 2020.

For its third quarter ended Feb 28, the group posted a net profit of RM2.89mil on the back of a RM115.5mil turnover, compared to the RM2.5mil and RM115mil achieved in the same period of 2017.