The Bidvest Group Limited
Annual report 2008
Review of operations  
Downloads |
Decrease font size   Increase font size   E-mail page   Print page


Singapore’s economy continues to perform strongly, though slower growth is forecast in the coming year. Results were substantially ahead of budget and benefited greatly from a onceoff gain in the foreign currency market caused by a bout of US dollar weakness versus the Singaporean unit.

Operational efficiencies remain a focus area and outsourced bulk storage facilities have been consolidated. In June 2008, we bought a small frozen finger foods business to further extend our range and in the first month of the new financial year launched a greenfields operation in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. This neighbouring state has been identified as a growth point.

Further growth will be sought as the business continues to exploit operational synergies and buying efficiencies following its integration into the wider division. The operation is well positioned to benefit from the 2009-2010 completion of two international resorts designed to accelerate efforts to enhance Singapore’s appeal as a major tourist destination. Last year’s surge in profits is unlikely to be replicated, however, as big opportunistic gains via sudden forex fluctuations are unlikely to be repeated on the scale of 2008.


The business put in an exceptional performance, more than doubling its budgeted sales. There were no acquisitions, but trading opportunities were maximised and operational efficiencies exploited to the full as management embraced Bidvest’s decentralised empowerment culture.

In 2009, it is planned to open a small greenfields business in neighbouring Macau, centre of a booming casino and leisure industry. Expansion into mainland China in cooperation with our local joint-venture partners continues. The intention is to grow our relatively small operations in the Chinese capital of Beijing, the port city of Shanghai (China’s biggest metropolitan area with a population of over 20 million) and the industrial and commercial centre of Guangzhou (formerly Canton). In addition, a depot has been opened in Shenzhen north of Hong Kong.

Continued growth will be pursued, though it will be difficult to maintain the exceptional momentum of the past year. The local job market remains buoyant, supporting strong domestic demand and tourist inflows have been substantial. However, in the final quarter there were indications that growth may be slowing. It may be some time before gains from mainland expansion are evident.

A sustainability culture is in the early stages of development at the Angliss businesses. They are drawing on Bidvest experience to develop appropriate programmes.