The Edge Online, 12 August 2014 - Cheah, Jamaludin, Dutch Lady bag top BRC 2014 awards

The Edge Online, 12 August 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd took home The Edge Billion Ringgit Club (BRC)’s Company of the Year for 2014 Award last night, while Sunway Group founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah and Axiata Group Bhd president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim were named Malaysia’s two outstanding CEOs who have shown exemplary leadership in building businesses and creating value for all stakeholders.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin presented the awards at the prestigious The Edge-BRC gala dinner to honour the best performing Bursa Malaysia-listed companies.

““I am pleased to know that in this year’s The Edge-BRC list, 178 companies succeeded in their assessment to be part of the club among the 900 companies listed on Bursa Malaysia.

“This is a notable increase from the 144 companies which made it to the 2013 list, which augurs well for Corporate Malaysia which has performed excellently in the last year,” said Muhyiddin.

Also present was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, who was named a BRC value creator last year for his contribution to Corporate Malaysia.

Apart from the top three awards, 21 other companies were also recognised in their respective sectors for financial performance while six companies took home awards in two categories for best corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives.

Sime Darby Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd received the top three CR awards in the “Big Cap” category while Carlsberg Brewery (Malaysia) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and Allianz Malaysia Bhd bagged the top three CR awards in the “Below RM10 billion market capitalisation” category.

“I am honoured with the award and I can only hope that I will be able to inspire younger people to work hard to excel in a competitive environment and most importantly for them to think of long-term sustainable businesses,” Cheah said.

“I feel very honoured. This award is most deserving by the employees of Axiata. From our point of view, we want to grow and grow and grow,” Jamaludin said.

“A successful company is not about the brick and mortar or the hardware but it is due to the people in the company and those who lead them,” said Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, executive chairman of The Edge Media Group in his welcome address to mark the fifth annual instalment of The Edge-BRC awards.

This year’s Company of the Year, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd (Dutch Lady Malaysia) has seen its share price more than triple in fewer than four years as investors rewarded its dividend paying capability. Its phenomenal share price gains have made the company BRC’s “Best Performing Stock” in the consumer products sector for three straight years, including 2014.

What’s more, Dutch Lady Malaysia has returned more than 100% of its earnings to shareholders since FY2009 and if the popularity of its dairy products like Dutch Lady ActiveGold, Dutch Baby and Frisolac are any indicator, the company continues to be an attractive cash cow.

Dutch Lady Malaysia managing director Rahul Colaco, who received the award on the company’s behalf, said: “I think it’s a fantastic tribute to the work done at Dutch Lady. We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year. So, this is a fitting finale to the celebration we’ve had.

“It’s a tribute to the many employees at work not just over the last few years but also over the last five decades,” he added.

Last year, DiGi.Com Bhd, another stellar dividend payer, was named Company of the Year. Genting Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and QL Resources Bhd were the award recipients in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.

This year, a total of 178 companies qualified as BRC members, up from 144 last year. The 178 is about 19% of total companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and their combined market capitalisation of RM1.54 trillion as at March 31, 2014 was some 91% of the total market capitalisation. Together, this year’s 178 BRC members booked RM701.2 billion in revenue and a collective pre-tax profit of RM116.8 billion last year. These companies also paid an estimated RM31 billion in corporate taxes last year, some 24% of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB)’s RM129 billion tax collection in 2013.

“Businesses aspiring to emulate tonight’s (last night) winners should look beyond the numbers — enviable though these be — to recognise also the CR (corporate responsibility) dimension. None of these winners achieved greatness without having a clearly thought-out programme to address the needs of the community at large, and that speaks volumes,” said Ong Eng Bin, CEO of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, the main sponsor of The Edge-BRC Corporate Awards.

Apart from OCBC Bank, also partnering The Edge for the Corporate Awards this year are Lexus Malaysia and Audemars Piguet. The BRC computation and results were audited by Deloitte Malaysia.