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KUALA LUMPUR: Diversified conglomerate PPB Group Bhd is optimistic on the outlook for the second half of the year buoyed by more consumer spending but at the same time will keep an eye on how to deal with the rising cost of doing business.
Managing director Lim Soon Huat said the company is aware that the operating environment will not be rosy but it believes its core business is back on the right track.
"We have put in place measures on how to mitigate some of the cost escalation that we are facing in our businesses.
"For the grains and agribusiness segment, for example, we will continue our efforts to preserve margins by improving our product performance and enhancing operational efficiency,” he said during a virtual press and analyst briefing today.
Lim said grain commodity prices have now stabilised closer to the pre-Russian-Ukraine conflict level as global supply concerns eased.
However, the flow-through effect of high raw material prices on production costs as well as high logistics costs will remain, given the lag effect of procurement and production cycles, in addition to limitations in price-in mechanism.
Meanwhile, he said the company expects its consumer products segment, which mainly distributes basic necessities, to perform satisfactorily on the back of improving consumer sentiment as the country transitions into endemicity.,
Commenting on the price inflation, FFM Group director and chief executive officer Jeremy Goon said "people have absorbed the price increase quite well”.
FFM Group is an 80 per cent subsidiary of PPB Group.
"The price of raw material everywhere in the whole world has gone up but perhaps they will be switching their product category and maybe move away from the premium category... but the consumption remains,” he said.
Touching on the film exhibition and distribution segment, PPB Group head of corporate affairs and GSC Group chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee said the segment is expected to contribute significantly to the group’s revenue in the second half of the year, following the opening of new cinemas.
"For MBO, out of 18 locations, we have now opened 16 locations and will be opening two more soon, including one in Bintulu which is finishing its renovation and expected to be opened by the end of this quarter,” she said.
In March 2021, GSC acquired the majority of cinema assets from the MBO chain.
Koh noted that the group has not increased the movie ticket price, therefore it is still an affordable form of entertainment.
Asked if the recent cancellations of Hollywood movies such as "Thor: Love and Thunder” would impact the group’s revenue, she said: "Fortunately, Malaysia does not only rely on Hollywood titles, therefore it does not really feel the pinch.