|A shopper chooses Masan's products at a supermaket in Ha Noi. The group listed on HCM City Stock Exchange as MSN reported a loss of more than VND333 billion (US$15.8 million) in the first half of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dao Ngoc Thach
HA NOI (VNS)— Masan Group Corporation (MSN) reported a loss of more than VND333 billion (US$15.8 million) in the first half of this year despite its sales growing 60.2 per cent against the same period last year.
The group's sales reached VND6.839 trillion ($324 million) ending June, up 60.2 per cent compared with the first half of 2013, boosted by strong growth in sales.
Consumer sales increased 33.3 per cent during the first six months of last year, propelled by strong seasonal growth, a growing market share in convenience foods and momentum from new beverage launches.
In addition, Masan Resources contributed VND1.145 trillion ($54.3 million) as the Nui Phao mine continued its ramp-up. Techcombank, a group's associate company, also posted a 45.4 per cent rise in profit before tax, reaching VND948 billion ($45 million), achieving almost 80 per cent of the lender's annual profit target.
Masan Group is restructuring to establish Masan Agri and Masan Brewery, two new pillars to focus on consumption-led growth.
In the last few months, the group has launched three new products, caffeine-based drink Wake-Up 247, isotonic drink Aktiva and energy drink Storm to target the $2.5 billion non-alcoholic beverage market.
With the entry into complete meals and the mid-market instant noodle segment, as well as the establishment of a strong platform to target the beverage category, the market for Masan expanded from $1.1 billion to $4.5 billion.
Despite higher sales, Masan Group still incurred a loss of VND333.33 billion ($15.8 million) in the first six months of this year, of which the second-quarter loss was VND227 billion ($10.8 million).
The group attributed the loss to towering financial costs rising to VND565 billion ($26.8 million) in the second quarter and a cumulative VND880 billion ($41.7 million) in the first six months.
Nonstandard expenses arising from the Nui Phao project and high depreciation in its resources business also contributed to the loss.
According to its filing to the HCM City Stock Exchange, the group's cash reserves stood at VND5.16 trillion ($244.5 million) at the end of June.
The group said it retained high cash reserves to support growth and fund potential M&A deals. It believes the costs of interest and depreciation of the Nui Phao project will decrease when the mine continues its expansion, lifting gross margins from economies of scale and profits.
Masan Group is one of the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity on the HCM City's market. Its share price declined 3.5 per cent yesterday to close at VND83,000 ($3.93) per share. — VNS