2018 was an exceptional year. China’s exports and economic growth were threatened by the ongoing Sino-US trade conflicts and active deleveraging by the Chinese government. Renminbi depreciation and soaring pulp cost combined to pose unprecedented challenges to Tissue industry.
To cope with such difficult situations, Vinda adhered to innovation, brand strategy and portfolio optimisation. Our focus on high-margin products and product differentiation enabled us to minimise the impact from price competition and maintain steady growth in revenue. The “Best Brand of Health Care and Hygiene Products in China Award 2018” accredited by Global Brands Magazine was the best testament to Vinda’s strength in product innovation and brand power. Meanwhile, to mitigate the pressure brought by the high pulp cost, we were determined to “increase revenue and cut expenditure”. By doing so, we raised our product price and operational efficiency as well as implementing a stringent cost-saving plan. All these measures were adopted to protect our profitability.
China’s fast-moving consumer goods industry has entered a new era. Against the backdrop of an ever changing consumers’ behavior and rapidly evolving retail channels, we can no longer be conventional. I uphold my belief that “Innovation” is the key for corporate development, as consumers do crave for quality purchase instead of quantity purchase nowadays. We must put extra efforts on product innovation and technological innovation, particularly in times of competition and high operating cost environment. Only then can we stand out from the competition, and only then can we take ourselves to the next level. Premiumisation is the only direction for our Tissue business development. Similarly, our Personal Care business also target high-end segment. Capitalising on the success of Southeast Asia’s Personal Care and the cost advantage of localisation of production in China, we will provide quality incontinent products and feminine products to Chinese consumers. In addition, albeit the rapid growth of new-retail and e-commerce, our strategy is to win the hearts of consumers, tighten the cooperation with all customers and leverage our competitive edge in all channels.
The prospect of 2019 might be clouded by the uncertainties of the Sino-US trade negotiations, exchange rate of Renminbi and pulp price. Nevertheless, tax reduction and supply-side reform are believed to stimulate the consumption and facilitate the consumption upgrade. Moreover, Chinese government has resolved to build a low-carbon economy. Local authorities’ stringent enforcement over environmental regulation will benefit companies like Vinda who adheres to innovation, quality and green supply chain.
Consumption upgrade is irreversible. Chance favours only the prepared mind. We will gear up for innovation, strike a balance between growth and profitability, as well as striving to be a sustainable and risk-resilient company.