Nestlé Malaysia’s ice-cream business is still in the red, but finance director Malcolm Hunter believes that this situation will change within a year.

Swiss food giant Nestlé is well established worldwide; producing over 400 different food products on an international market and enjoying strong results in terms of consumer brand preference and market share. Despite the fact that the ice cream business is still relatively small in Malaysia, Hunter is therefore positive about its future and its potential for growth in the market.

At a KLCS CEO Power Lunch jointly organised by Kuala Lumpur City Securities and KLCS Asset Management, Hunter commented: “It is still making losses to date but it is now close to breaking even. The ice cream business could get into the black in the next 12 months.”

Appreciating the danger of complacency in what is a competitive market, Hunter reiterated Nestlé’s focus on product innovation and distribution renovation. As well as controlling numerous food service and ice cream dealers, 53 Nestlé dealers and four wholesale agencies, the allocation of new resources for the company’s vending machine business, is expected to increase this method of distribution.

KLCS is expecting an 8.4% increase in Nestlé’s turnover during this financial year, to RM2.116bn, and a forecast from the equity research company puts the company’s earnings at RM 288.2m for the same period, an increase of 24.6%.