Well-known brewer SABECO has not only carried out its programme of SABECO 4.0, which will transform its business to increase efficiency as part of its strategy to become the top beverage group in Vietnam, it is also continuing to focus on developing human resources to make it domestically and globally competitive.
Through these efforts, SABECO was honoured in October as an outstanding enterprise for labour by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. The accolade was presented in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
SABECO general director Lester Tan believes that the company’s workers are an important factor in this sustainable development process.
“We will continue to invest in people to enhance internal strength and competitiveness, creating sustainable value for shareholders, users, and also the community,” Tan said.
The company was especially praised for its handling of employee issues during the recent pandemic. It ensured that no-one was let go from their job; there were no salary cuts; and annual bonus payments were still made.
During the peak of the difficulties, two community campaigns called Support Vietnam and Contribute Millions of Stars were deployed by the brewer, with the desire to work with the Vietnamese government in the fight to repel COVID-19, while also calling on the community to share positive messages to encourage and appreciate the frontline teams who were trying to save lives.
Ensuring the health and safety of employees was, and still is, top priority while maintaining stable operations. With that, the SABECO Cares initiative was also implemented for employees who faced the highest risk of infection due to the nature of their work, which typically required them to come into contact with many customers.
Even last year as the risk subsided, SABECO continued to launch steps to help its workers, including a performance-based compensation structure, re-evaluation of wage ranges and benefits, and the implementation of new HR regulations to promote a safe and healthy workplace.
The organisation prioritised training and development programmes, exceeding regulatory standards with nearly 3,000 training hours in total, emphasising the significance of skills development.
A future alongside Vietnam
In the context of the economy still facing many challenges due to the effects of slow economic growth, weak purchasing power, and many businesses still facing cash flow difficulties, SABECO continues to show its superiority in financial strength with its large cash fund, sharing difficulties with shareholders through maintaining and even increasing dividends for shareholders.
At its AGM in early 2023, SABECO increased the cash dividend rate distributed to shareholders from 35 to 50 per cent, an increase of 15 per cent.
Besides this, the company was reported to be the leading unit in the country in fulfilling its obligations to the state. In particular, SABECO was this year praised for outstanding budget contributions during 2020-2022 by both the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Taxation.
The company is projecting net revenues of $1.72 billion for 2023 as a whole, an increase of 15 per cent on-year, and an after-tax profit of $246 million, up 5 per cent on-year.
Shinhan Vietnam Securities believes SABECO’s growth momentum will continue in 2024 based on the expectation of further tourism recovery, with about 45 per cent of tourists traditionally coming from China and Japan.
In addition, tourism will boost employment and service industry income, indirectly accelerating spending on non-essential items such as beer. Furthermore, football is also one of the factors promoting beer consumption in Vietnam, and next year will see at least two major football tournaments, the AFF Cup and Euro 2024.
In particular, in 2024, revenue is expected to increase by 16.2 per cent and net profit is estimated to increase by 17.3 per cent. In 2025, revenue is estimated to increase by 1.8 per cent and net profit is estimated to increase by 3.7 per cent, Shinhan added.
Green development advocates
According to SABECO, green growth not only helps save costs, but also enhances competitiveness, contributing to elevating the position of Vietnamese brands.
In 2022, SABECO was honoured in the Sustainable Enterprise category of the Kotler Award - an award that honours individuals and organisations in marketing and management worldwide. The company is assessed to have taken specific and effective steps on the green growth journey.
In early May 2023, SABECO deployed phase 2 of a rooftop solar power project in the production system. It is expected that by the end of the year, a total of 17 of the company’s 26 factories will use renewable energy sources, helping to save 25 million kWh of electricity per year.
Accordingly, an estimated 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be cut each year, contributing to the net-zero emissions target by 2050, while also contributing to supporting Vietnam’s green growth goals for this decade.
Since 2018, the business has advocated designing and producing thin packaging to save raw materials. It has deployed sustainable packaging solutions for product lines, using thinner, lighter-weight cans to save fuel. It also implemented a beer bottle recycling scheme, calling on partners in the distribution network across the country to participate and promoting the responsibility of parties to handle packaging.
In addition, the corporation has reduced the amount of water used per litre of beer produced, from five litres in 2018 to below three litres in 2022. It also applied the Clean in Place wastewater treatment system, down-gauged cans, light-weighted carton boxes and bottles, and reuses beer glasses and cans whenever possible to minimise waste released into the environment.
With 148 years of brewing history, SABECO has established itself as one of Vietnam’s leading companies. It boasts 26 breweries and 11 trading subsidiaries and has a distribution network consisting of hundreds of thousands of retailers nationwide.
The company is proud to offer a brand portfolio that consists of some of the most well-loved beer brands in Vietnam, including Bia Lac Viet, Bia Saigon Chill, Bia 333, Bia Saigon Special, Bia Saigon Export, Bia Saigon Lager, and Bia Saigon Gold.
Flagship brands Bia Saigon and Bia 333 have been consistently recognised for their outstanding quality by local and international organisations. Most recently, the company received eight gold and silver medals from the Beverage Testing Institute in the United States at the Asia Beer Championship 2022.