BEST SMALL CAP COMPANY
Eu Yan Sang
The healthcare industry tends to be both resilient and recession-proof. Eu Yan Sang – a 134-year old Singapore company selling herbal remedies – has taken advantage of this to grow in its market niche over the last few decades, expanding across the globe.
The company – which had US$4 million in revenue back in 1989 – went on a massive growth spurt, achieving a hefty SGD101.2 million (US$79.62 million) in revenue for the third quarter alone in 2013. It also possesses a network of 300 stores as well as distribution channels throughout the world, including Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Its expansion into China is perhaps its most recently encouraging trait. Eu Yan Sang is accelerating its growth there after three years of efforts to get its health food and other products registered.
“The revitalisation of an old brand via marketing and further product development have proved to be good for Eu Yan Sang, which also has excellent strategic expansions in the pipeline,” says a Singapore-based equity research analyst.
The most recent China development is its joint venture called EYS Neautus (Sichuan) with Sichuan Neautus Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is based in the city of Chengdu in May. The 50/50 joint venture is expected to improve the group’s margins through lower costs of raw materials and strengthen the upward integration of the group’s supply chain.
Eu Yan Sang reported a 55% year-on-year increase in its net profit to SGD8.5 million for its third quarter ended March 31.
BEST MEDIUM CAP COMPANY
Super Group has had another super year. After obtaining the award for best mid-cap in Singapore last year, it has once again swept analysts off their feet this year. The food and beverage manufacturer, best known for its three-in-one instant coffee, has used its new innovative charms to expand into growth markets.
Today Super is the second-biggest seller of instant coffee in the Lion City and number one in Myanmar, which is the company’s second-largest market. It also ranks near the top in several other Southeast Asian markets, battling with Swiss food-and-beverage giant Nestlé – which began selling Nescafé three-in-one sachets in the 1990s.
“Super Group has seen superior share price performance and its foresight into expansion in Myanmar starting from several years back prove to be beneficial for the company,” says a Singapore-based equity research analyst.
Convenient coffee won’t sell itself. Super Group spends a high 10% of revenue on advertising and promotion. This ongoing cost has had one positive payoff: Super moved up to No. 40 on the 2013 ranking of Singapore’s most-recognised brands worldwide, according to Brand Finance, a UK consultancy.
Super’s share price has jumped 47% this year to SGD4.75 on July 25, compared with a 2.2% decline in the benchmark measure Straits Times Index. Also, the company’s shares trade at 31.7 times earnings, compared with the 20 times average of its 12 closest peers in Singapore, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
BEST LARGE CAP COMPANY
Southeast Asia’s largest bank continues to impress.
DBS’ enjoys dominant market share across various business lines such as consumer banking and wealth management, institutional banking, capital markets and treasury – making it an all-rounder and less prone to financial risks.
There is no denying that it has done well, particularly considering the stiff competition it faces in the crowded local banking sector and across the region in big markets such as Hong Kong and China.
DBS is continually seeking to expand regionally, including in Hong Kong, where it made inroads in 2012. It has also has sought to build its presence in Indonesia, although the central bank’s refusal to approve its acquisition of Danamon rankled. It will now seek to grow its own business there organically.
“Nowadays they are more disciplined with regards to acquisitions and secondly, their earnings – even on a quarterly basis – are very consistent,” says a Singapore-based equity analyst. “There is very little volatility and consistent growth with consistent ambitions.”
DBS dazzled investors with better-than-expected earnings of SGD1.84 billion for the first six months of 2013, up 5% from a year ago, setting a new record for itself for half-year earnings. Plus is has a healthy balance sheet, with capital requirements well in hand.
The market seems to like what it’s seeing, with DBS’ shares rising 2.4% to SGD17.10 on August 1, shortly after its earnings were released.
Piyush Gupta, chief executive, DBS
Known for developing DBS to becoming a leading financial services group in Asia and boosting its assets to approximately US$300 billion, Piyush Gupta, chief executive of the bank remains Asiamoney’s top pick for Singaporean executive for the year third year running.
Gupta, an ex-Citibanker who took the helm in late 2009, has turned the bank from a laggard to an outperformer, helped by double-digit loan growth and strong fee income from capital markets and wealth management.
What he has set out to do is followed up with good execution, which is then clearly reflected clearly in the bank’s earnings results.
“He communicates his actions lucidly and follows up with excellent implementation and execution,” says a Singapore-based analyst. “And we see it on the bank’s bottom line.”
DBS reported a net profit of SGD887 million during the April-to-June quarter. Net-interest income rose 4% from SGD1.32 billion a year earlier to SGD1.38 billion this quarter, while other non-interest income surged 86% to SGD450 million during the same periods, it said.
With over 200 branches across 15 markets, DBS’ earning prowess never fails to disappoint bankers and investors alike.
It suffered some disappointment in July when it said it had ended its 16-month pursuit of Danamon, Indonesia's sixth-largest lender by assets, after failing to gain Indonesian regulatory approval to take a majority stake at the outset.
Despite this, Gupta has promised to grow the bank’s business organically in the Southeast Asian nation. He looks likely to deliver.