Caring to venture into Sabah next year
> Looking to expand presence in East Malaysia despite highly competitive market landscape
KUALA LUMPUR: Caring Pharmacy Group Bhd aims to open its first outlet in Sabah next year, said its managing director YS Chong.
“Next year we are going to the East Coast and we are looking at Sabah also. We are building our capability to expand there,” he told reporters after its AGM yesterday.
“We have to continue to expand. Next year we are expanding to the East Coast and East Malaysia, so we will complete our presence and will be truly a Malaysian brand. Right now we are very much at the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
Chong said it will continue to open 10 to 12 outlets every year with an annual capital expenditure of about RM6 million, which is used for business expansion including its ecommerce business. It currently has 107 outlets.
Caring is present in all the major cities in the West Coast like Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Malacca and Johor.
“But unlike the last few years, we will focus outside (the West Coast) now,” Chong said.
He added the group, which has been in the business for over 20 years, is competent and determined to continue expanding despite the highly competitive market landscape.
Chong said the group’s aggressive promotion plan would drive revenue growth but competition remains on the margin side.
“We really have to see how to improve the margin. In the short-term, we also need to retain our market share, we want to please more customers because during challenging times, spending power is squeezed, ringgit is weakening, everybody is being careful so we have to continue to defend our market,” he said.
For the financial year ended May 31, 2016, the group’s net profit fell 43.35% to RM7.29 million from RM12.87 million a year ago, while revenue rose 10.56% to RM402.57 million from RM364.11 million a year ago. Shareholders approved a final single-tier dividend of 1.5 sen per share at the AGM yesterday. On the proposed Pharmacy Bill, which will see a separation in prescribing and dispensing medication, Chong declined to comment.