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We maintain a selective Overweight call on the Consumer sector, mainly on market-leaders who continue to thrive even in the face of a domestic consumption slowdown.
AEON Co, AEON Credit Services
Top Buys are KFC and QL. Investors seeking liquid defensive plays should also be attracted to BAT’s earnings resilience and high dividend yield. , KFC Holdings and QL Resources are on track to continue posting >10% net growth rates in 2009-10, defying conventional logic and market expectations.
Reaping the fruits of disciplined ‘labour.’ AEON Co, AEON Credit Services
Sector Summary Table , KFC Holdings and QL Resources are expected to register double-digit net profit growth in 2009-10. For AEON Co and KFC, their less-than-one-year-old stores will contribute new sources of revenue and profits, even though existing stores, opened for more than one full calendar year, may not cumulatively register meaningful sales growth. AEON Co’s niche of providing comfortable one-stop shopping malls in many suburban areas continues to differentiate itself from other retailers domestically, whilst KFC continues to thrive as the most popular choice of fast food. Reaping the rewards of painstaking integration. In addition to the slew of growth activities at its Integrated Farming business, the integrated nature of QL Resources’ Marine Products business cushions fluctuating product prices. Although surimi (semi-processed fish paste) prices have fallen back to just above 2007-08 levels, this has instead made fishmeal and surimi-based products more affordable and encourages volume sales and margins for these products. Reaping the benefits of significant relationships. In AEON Credit Service’s case, despite the recent decline in motorcycle sales and relative uncertainty in 2009’s GDP growth prospects, its existing loans book, riding on 3-4 year loans profile, provides an earnings buffer against significant slow down in loans growth over the next 6-12months. Further, significant synergies with sister company AEON Co is expected to start showing with the likely combining of the latter’s privilege card (J Card) with the former’s credit cards. Currently, there are at least 10 times as many J Card holders as there are AEON Credit credit card holders. When growth and value come together. While we remain cautious of the broader market over the next few quarters, we continue to like the long-term value offered by our selection of four compelling growth stocks. Arguably, these three stocks offer the relative security of growing steadily within the generally defensive Consumer sector.