Vinamilk (VNM) says merger plan is for mutual benefits

The Viet Nam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) wants to team up with other domestic milk producers to counter pressure from foreign businesses.

Vinamilk made a bid for 116.7 million shares or nearly 46.7 per cent in GTN Foods on April 11, which owns Moc Chau Milk JSC. If approved, Vinamilk could raise its ownership in GTN Foods to 49 per cent and become a major shareholder.

However, the deal was strongly opposed by GTN Foods' board of directors in late March.

According to GTN Foods chairman Ta Van Quyen, Vinamilk was a direct competitor in dairy production and distribution, and Vinamilk had not made an official offer or shown a clear plan to support the development of GTN Foods.

"Vinamilk wants to sit down and talk to GTN Foods about the deal and mutual development," Vinamilk general director Mai Kieu Lien said at the firm's annual shareholder meeting yesterday.

"If we stay small and individual, we won't be strong enough to compete in the dairy industry. If we want to go international, Vietnamese companies must stick together like a bundle of chopsticks, which are hard to break."

"Vinamilk never plans to take advantage of our friends. We have talked to GTN Foods and reached some mutual agreements," Lien said.

Half of profit to pay dividend

Vinamilk plans to spend half of its 2019 post-tax profit to pay dividends. In 2017 and 2018, dividend payout rates were at least 70 per cent.

The 2019 dividend payments will be made in three installments. The first payment will be made in September, worth VND2,000 per share.

The second payment will be made in February 2020, worth VND1,000 per share. The third payment will be discussed at the 2020 annual shareholder meeting.

In 2018, Vinamilk planned to pay three dividend payments worth a total of VND4,500 per share. The first batch was completed in September 2018, worth VND2,000 per share.

The second batch was paid in February 2019, worth VND1,000 per share. The third, worth VND1,500 per share, is scheduled for June 26. The total value of 2018 dividend payments is forecast to hit VND7.84 trillion.

In 2019, Vinamilk targets 7 per cent annual growth in total revenue at VND56.3 trillion.

Pre-tax profit is forecast to gain 5 per cent year-on-year to nearly VND12.7 trillion and post-tax profit is expected to grow 2.5 per cent to VND10.5 trillion.

In 2018, Vinamilk posted VND52.63 trillion in total revenue, up 3 per cent from the previous year. Its post-tax profit declined slightly to VND10.2 trillion from nearly VND10.3 trillion in 2017. Vinamilk shares fell 1.6 per cent to finish yesterday at VND133,000 per share on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. As of yesterday, the company's market value was VND231.64 trillion ($9.94 billion), being the fourth largest listed company by market value behind real estate firms Vingroup (VIC), Vinhomes (VHM) and Vietcombank (VCB).

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