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Wilmar, Thai Bev, DBS top super-big caps categories

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Wilmar, Thai Bev, DBS top super-big caps categories
Based in Singapore, Wilmar International operates an extensive agribusiness empire that spans various segments of the industry’s value chains / Photo: Wilmar International
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Wilmar International is the overall sector winner and winner for growth in PAT (profit after tax) in this new industry category of “super-big” companies. This new category recognises that the super-big caps are in a different league, where their market cap in the tens of billions is big enough and distinct enough from other Billion Dollar Club (BDC) winners with market value in the billions. Specifically, this category recognises BDC companies whose market caps are in the top 10%.

Wilmar International, one of the region’s leading agri-food businesses, qualifies for this category without breaking a sweat. Under the leadership of chairman and CEO Kuok Khoon Hong, Wilmar, founded in 1991, is today an integrated agribusiness model covering the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity business from origination to processing, branding, merchandising and distribution.

Besides growing palm oil, Wilmar is into oilseed crushing, edible oils refining, flour and rice milling, sugar milling and refining, manufacturing of consumer products, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat central kitchen products, speciality fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertilisers as well as food park operations. It has a network of more than 500 manufacturing plants and a distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries.

In a sign of how Wilmar has turned scale and integration into a competitive business model, the company says it can extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. In the three years under consideration for this year’s BDC, Wilmar was able to generate a CAGR of 22.9% for PAT.

See also: The Edge Singapore unveils winners of 2023 Billion Dollar Club

Thai Beverage is a leading beverage player in Asia, running four main business segments: It produces and sells spirits such as Ruang Khao and Mekhong; non-alcoholic beverages such as Oishi green tea and 100Plus isotonic drink; food including the KFC franchise in Thailand and, of course, beer, including its flagship brand Chang.

Thai Bev, controlled by the Sirivadhanabhakdi family, has been listed on the Singapore Exchange S68 -

since 2006. Besides organic growth over the years, it has made regular acquisitions to build a strong presence in new markets outside Thailand. In 2012, it acquired Fraser and Neave, a Singapore household name. In 2017, ThaiBev took a 75% stake in the Grand Royal Group, the largest whiskey player in Myanmar, and also a 53.59% stake in Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), which owns popular brands Bia Saigon and 333. With this deal, Thai Bev became the largest beer player by volume in Southeast Asia. The company’s products are sold in more than 90 countries. In the three years under consideration for this year’s BDC, Thai Bev recorded a weighted return on equity of 16.2%.

DBS Group Holdings, Singapore’s largest bank, is tops in the returns to shareholders category with a CAGR of 21.1% for the three years under consideration for this year’s BDC. Under CEO Piyush Gupta, the bank has enjoyed steady growth as it radically transformed from a relatively conservative bank to one that leads the industry with its digital-savvy. Besides capital appreciation backed by regular records in its earnings, the bank has put in place a quarterly dividend policy, signalling confidence in the resilience of its earnings and cash flow. 

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