Despite the ongoing pandemic, one of Malaysia’s leading general merchandise and supermarket stores AEON has posted a higher profit after tax for the first quarter of the financial year of RM22 million compared to previous corresponding quarter of RM7.5 million.
The 194 per cent increase in profits comes on the back of the company’s agile, entrepreneurial and “genba” approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in improvements in merchandise gross margin, changes to marketing mechanics and sustainable cost reduction structures.
“Taking into consideration of the pandemic-related disruptions, we are grateful for the continuous support from our customers, partners and suppliers, and most importantly the dedication displayed by the hard-working AEON employees who truly embodied the elements of Speed, Scale and Synergy in serving the nation,” Shafie Shamsuddin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AEON Malaysia said in a media statement.
Similarly, profit from operations and profit before tax rose to RM72.7 million and RM41.8 million respectively compared to previous year corresponding quarter of RM64 million (13 per cent improvement) and RM25.4 million (65 per cent improvement) respectively.
The company said customers’ safety has always been its top priority.
“As we navigate the new normal, we will continue with the positive momentum and strive for greater financial returns in ensuring our stakeholders – employees, customers, partners, shareholders and investors – are well taken care of.
“Notwithstanding the challenges, we will intensify merchandising effectiveness, sharpen our go-to-market
strategy, remain nimble with our business delivery to match the shifting market conditions, and forge new collaborations,” Shafie said.
To maintain physical distancing, access restrictions were implemented at AEON malls and stores nationwide throughout the pandemic, for example, by limiting the number of people between 150 to 300 persons only at any one time in AEON supermarkets depending on the space of the premises.
The reduced patronage has reduced total revenue for the period under review which stood at RM1.013 billion, 15 per cent lower compared to the previous corresponding quarter of RM1.191 billion.