Group managing director Teoh Meng Keat said Myanmar is touted as the new frontier market amongst emerging countries in terms of the consumer segment and has appointed a local master agent to oversee the business there.
He said due to local laws limiting company ownership, the group will export its products directly to the master agent, who will then sell it to locals.
"We will continue to expand our overseas market to overcome escalating raw material prices, increasing operating costs, stiff market competition and reduced consumer confidence in spending," he told reporters after the group's annual general meeting here Wednesday.
He said the group also plans to channel investments towards increasing the production capacity in line with the objective of growing the business by extending the scale and capability of its food and beverages manufacturing division.
The group sales ratio is mostly exports at 57 per cent to Thailand, 38 per cent local, four per cent Indonesian and one per cent to Singapore.
However, Teoh said the group had allocated RM35 million as capital expenditure (capex) for the next 12 months,
He said RM7.7 million of the capex has been used to purchase a factory in Bayan Lepas, here, to establish a manufacturing plant for its liquid, home and personal care products.
"We will be spending about RM19.5 million to add an additional level to our current plant in Bayan Lepas, including upgrade of the current machinery and the rest on operational costs," Teoh added.
He said the group remained optimist over its financial performance for this year and is confident of weathering the challenges.
"We expect the local as well as overseas demand to bounce back healthily in the next financial year, as we muster all our resources to maximise every sales opportunity and induce higher consumer demand," he added.
Currently, Zhulian has about 569,709 distributors and 326 agents in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
From dealing with only a small range of highly popular gold plated jewellery, Zhulian today has successfully diversified its product lines to home care, food and beverages, nutritional supplements, personal care, cosmetics, air and water treatment, sleep enhancement and disposable hygiene products.