Singapore's Sheng Siong to reward staff with up to 16 months’ bonus after ‘tremendous’ performance in 2020

The good performance by Sheng Siong reflects how well supermarkets performed in 2020, especially during the partial lockdown in April and May to restrict movement and activities in Singapore. — TODAY pic
The good performance by Sheng Siong reflects how well supermarkets performed in 2020, especially during the partial lockdown in April and May to restrict movement and activities in Singapore. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Jan 26— After a bumper year, Sheng Siong's employees will receive bonuses of up to 16 months, inclusive of the annual wage supplement (AWS), an internal memo shows.

In a copy of the memo seen by TODAY, eligible staff members are entitled to 20 per cent of the company’s profits before tax as variable bonus.

Some of the amount, as well as the monthly bonus, has already been distributed from September to December last year. The remaining payout will be reflected in employees’ payslips next month and distributed in early March this year.

TODAY has verified the authenticity of the memo, which was dated Jan 21, 2021.

When approached, Sheng Siong declined to comment.In the memo, the Sheng Siong management said that it performed “tremendously well” compared to previous years.

The good performance reflects how well supermarkets performed last year, especially during the circuit breaker period, which was imposed here in April and May to restrict movement and activities in stemming the spread of the disease.

During this period, supermarkets saw their revenues surge as most people stayed home and prepared homecooked meals since dining out was prohibited.

Data from the Department of Statistics showed that supermarkets saw a 74.6 per cent year-on-year increase in sales last April when all other sectors in the retail industry saw a decline.

Even now, supermarkets continue to see a rise in their takings. The latest data from the Department of Statistics showed that supermarkets and hypermarkets saw a 22.6 per cent increase in sales last November on a year-on-year basis.

The Sheng Siong memo gave a breakdown of how much bonus its employees can expect to receive in total.

Part-time workers will receive 4.68 months’ bonus, general staff members will receive 8.36 months’ bonus, while those employed at the assistant supervisor to senior executive levels will receive about a year’s bonus. In 2019, it was 3.36 months, 5.73 months and 8.0 months’ bonus received by each respective tier.

Employees whose ranks are in the assistant manager level and above will receive 15.72 months’ bonus, up from 10.45 months’ bonus in 2019.

The bonus figures are inclusive of the one-month AWS.

In the first nine months of last year, Sheng Siong registered a revenue of S$1.07 billion (RM3.27 billion), a 44.6 per cent increase over the S$743.43 million in the same period in 2019.The increase was “mainly because of elevated demand arising from Covid-19,” the listed firm said in a financial statement on its website.

Profit before tax for the first nine months of last year was S$127.64 million — an 81.1 per cent jump over the S$70.49 million in 2019.The full-year figures are not yet available as its financial year ended on Dec 31, 2020.In 2019, Sheng Siong’s full-year revenue amounted to S$991.28 million while profit before tax was S$91.91 million.As of Sept 30 last year, Sheng Siong has 64 stores in Singapore and two in China.

Separately, in response to TODAY’s queries, a spokesperson from NTUC FairPrice supermarket chain said it ensures that its 13,000 employees’ welfare benefits are competitive and in tandem with economic and market conditions.

“Our employees’ well-being is a core priority and staff rewards will commensurate with employees’ contributions and efforts during this challenging period,” the FairPrice spokesperson.

She added that beyond bonuses, FairPrice also rewards its employees through other forms of recognition.

During an interview with news outlet CNBC in May last year, Seah Kian Peng, group chief executive officer of FairPrice Group, said that FairPrice saw “a huge surge in sales” during the first quarter of last year, and that employees will be rewarded in terms of their salary for their hard work.The Business Times reported in November last year that the FairPrice Group is set to cross the S$4 billion revenue mark in 2020. — TODAY

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