KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Thai-based Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) is keen to import more Malaysian products following its latest acquisition of Big C Supercentre Public Company Limited.
BJC, via the 97.94 per cent stake in Big C that it owns now for RM27.02 billion, is the third largest grocery retail group in South-East Asia and Thailand’s second-largest hypermarket operator.
“We see more Malaysian products in the company’s stores, especially the halal products… this is not because of religious beliefs but also for health reasons.
“Naturally, we are turning to our neighbours and Malaysia, as the global leader in halal products, can provide an array of products,” BJC Chief Executive Officer/President, Aswin Techajareonvikul, told Bernama.
In Thailand alone, the group operates 806 stores out of 1,105 stores in South-East Asia.
Aswin said Malaysia was home for top-notched halal certificate and as a result, every halal products that came from the country would receive smooth entry into Thailand without any scrutiny.
He said Malaysian products available at BJC and soon Big C, will not only enter Thailand but also other countries that the group wass operating, including Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
“The more we expand our business, the more Malaysian products will be seen in other countries, which is good opportunities for Malaysian brands such as Hup Seng,” he said, adding that BJC recently participated in Malaysia’s largest halal showcase, Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2017 (MIHAS 2017).
He said the company hoped that post-MIHAS 2017, it could meet and recruit potential Malaysian companies that could work together to meet the regional demand.
Aswin said that the group was on its way to add new distribution channels to improve its marketing and logistics.
BJC, according to him, was eyeing companies specialising in marketing distribution here.
He said the made its first international acquisition in Malaysia when it bought Jacy Foods Sdn Bhd in 2007, a Malaysian manufacturer and distributor of potato chips and other processed snack food, which it later renamed as BJC Foods.
BJC Foods, operating in Shah Alam, Selangor, exports its products to Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Brunei.
“We hope to be in a position to attract not only the Thais, but the ASEAN community as a whole as we share the same common value and when it comes to food, our taste are similar.
“With ASEAN Economic Community kicking into gear and promoting free trade within the region, it raises the opportunity for Malaysian products to be exported regionally,” he said.
Asked if BJC would soon penetrate other ASEAN countries - Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia - Aswin said: “Not yet, maybe at a later stage.”
BJC is involved in supply chain management and retail solutions, specialising in packaging, consumer goods and healthcare products.
In 2016, it registered a 43.32 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to four billion baht from 2.79 billion baht in 2015, while its revenue rose 192.19 per cent to 125.33 billion baht from 42.89 billion baht, as the group consolidated the results of Big C in the last three quarters.
It was reported that base on last year’s full-year financial statements, revenue from international business contributed 8.3 per cent of total BJC revenue and Malaysia generated around 0.36 per cent.
The percentage contribution was reduced from the previous year following the consolidation of Big C’s revenue. — Bernama