Sheng Siong - RHB Invest 2022-09-05: Benefiting From Lower Disposable Income; BUY


Sheng Siong - Benefiting From Lower Disposable Income; BUY

  • We believe that inflation will cause consumers to have lower disposable income. This could lead them to spend more cautiously and lean towards prioritising more essential items. Consumers may also focus on store brands or cook at home more, which should strengthen Sheng Siong’s revenue and margins.
  • In addition, downtrading may happen and shoppers could turn to more value-friendly supermarket chains like Sheng Siong to get their groceries.

Resilient and defensive.

  • Sheng Siong (SGX:OV8)’s 2Q22 revenue slipped by 0.7% y-o-y to S$676.8m – mainly due to the June school holiday period (when families travelled more). Gross profit margin (GPM) for the quarter rose to 29.4%, from 28.2% in 1Q22, while net profit margin (NPM) rose to 10% y-o-y from 9.7% in 1Q22. This was on the back of surging inflation, which also pushed up utilities, COGS and manpower costs. As such, its performance proves that Sheng Siong was able to raise prices and pass on costs to consumers – it also maintained margins when many other types of businesses saw profitability decline.
  • Also, as Sheng Siong has always been known as a more budget-friendly supermarket chain, we think some consumers may downtrade and shop at its stores instead of other more “premium-branded” chains like Cold Storage, NTUC FairPrice and Jason’s – since disposable income tends to decrease when inflation picks up. In such an environment, consumers are also more apt to switch to store brands, which often offer more affordable items.

Dividend increased slightly to S$0.0315.

  • Sheng Siong declared an interim dividend of S$0.0315 per share in 1H22, marking an increase from S$0.031 for 1H21. See Sheng Siong's Dividend History. We believe that 2H22 may bring about even better dividends, and forecast a yield of 4% for FY22 (FY21: 3.8%).

Blue skies ahead.

  • We believe the rise in inflation and recessionary fears should be a positive for Sheng Siong’s sales – and this should help to mitigate any dampener stemming from Singapore’s border and economic reopening.
  • We also expect Sheng Siong to also be able to maintain its margins and pass on costs to customers, as it has previously done so in the past and proven as of 1H22. This counter presents a solid defensive option – especially in such volatile market conditions.
  • Key downside risks: A price war, and a surge in operating costs.

Sheng Siong - ESG and valuation

Jarick Seet RHB Securities Research | https://www.rhbgroup.com/ 2022-09-05
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 1.780 SAME 1.780