2017 was a challenging year for Fraser and Neave (F&N) as revenue fell 4% year-on-year to S$1.9 billion. Likewise, profit before interest and tax (PBIT) fell 2.8% to S$173.6 million. Results might have been worse if not for the higher contributions from Vinamilk, the largest dairy company in Vietnam. During the year, F&N increased its stake in Vinamilk from 10.95% to 18.74% which helped boost F&N’s profit.

F&N has been on our watchlist for some time and it was with great interest that I attended the 2018 F&N AGM to gain insights from the management and their outlook for 2018. Here are five things I learned from the 2018 F&N AGM.

1. F&N’s Beverages segment made PBIT losses of S$3.9 million due to rising commodity prices and weak consumer sentiment. The management added that the consumer trend of cutting down on sugar has affected …