According to a recent report by the Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^ST), Singapore’s stock market benchmark, produced a total return (inclusive of dividends) of 10.5% in the first six months of 2019. There were some index components which did much better than the STI’s total return. Here, let’s look at the top blue-chip that rewarded shareholders well.
Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX: Y92) emerged as the best performer of the lot, with a total shareholder return of a whopping 39%. In terms of share price appreciation, Thai Beverage returned 36%, rising from S$0.61 (close of 31 December 2018) to S$0.83 (close of 28 June 2019). The increase is a sharp reversal from the whole of 2018, during which the company’s shares fell 34%.
For the first half of FY2019 (year ended 30 September 2019), Thai Beverage’s revenue rose 26.1% year-on-year to THB 142.6 billion. The top-line growth was due to increases in the sales of its spirits business by 8.9%, beer business (up 53.4%), non-alcoholic beverages business (up 4.9%), and food business (up 32.1%). Meanwhile, net profit attributable to shareholders surged 40.3% to THB 13.2 billion. Thai Beverage dished out an interim dividend of THB 0.15 per share, unchanged from a year ago.
The latest financial growth is a welcome change from FY2018, where net profit attributable to shareholders tumbled 46.3% to THB 18.5 billion.Source: Thai Beverage FY2018 annual information meeting presentation
FY2018 was a challenging year domestically for Thai Beverage due to weak purchasing power and the high levels of debt in low-income households. Lower demand caused by an increase in domestic beverage prices, following the higher excise tax rates in late 2017, also caused headwinds to the company’s business.
If Thai Beverage can deliver on its growth plans, shareholders could continue to do well. Over the longer-term, Thai Beverage aims to become the largest and most profitable beverage company in Southeast Asia by 2020. By that year, the company intends to increase revenue from non-alcoholic beverages and sale of products outside of Thailand to over 50% each.
Other well-performing blue-chips
The SGX report also revealed other outstanding performers of the Straits Times Index for 2019 first-half. CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U), ComfortDelGro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52), and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6) amassed total returns of 27% each. Next in line were Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: A17U) and UOL Group Limited (SGX: U14), which produced total returns of 25% each.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Singapore Exchange and CapitaLand Commercial Trust.