Bangkok, Thailand-headquartered Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CPF) reported Bt26,022 million net profits in 2020, an increase of 41% over 2019 results, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 72% year to year to Bt81,692 million.
The performance improved from the previous year despite the Covid-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and African Swine Fever (ASF), due mainly to the adoption of advanced technology and innovations including AI in the production process, to attain optimal standards.
CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert (pictured above) attributed the positive results to in-house technology and innovations that involved new animal breeding and farming practices, the integration of bio-security into the process, and implementation of effective and preventive measures against the spread of diseases especially in the swine and shrimp businesses.
CPF’s profitability improved significantly as the company gave importance to efficiency and cost control, banking on technology and innovations in farming, production and distribution. In addition, pork prices in Asia increased particularly in Vietnam and China, while the aquaculture business in Thailand showed a significant improvement following adjustments in marketing strategies and an operational efficiency program.
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, which put great pressure on the economy and consumers’ purchasing power, CPF’s products remained essential for everyday life. During the past year, the company modified distribution channels to reach more consumers while the work process embraced more technology. The process effectively shielded CPF from the economic downturn that the pandemic wreaked on many sectors.
Looking forward, CEO Prasit expects to see an improvement in purchasing power in 2021 as the Covid-19 health crisis eases. Domestic and international demand for Thai food products will hence increase. Coupled with the company’s capacity expansion and technology-based production efficiency enhancement, management is confident of continual competitiveness and expects the continuation in impressive results.
At the recent shareholders meeting, the CPF’s board of directors proposed a Bt1 dividend for the 2020 performance. (An interim payment of Bt0.40 per share was already paid on September 11.)