【The China Post 每日精選】:三 | 國際 | 三立新聞網 SETN.COM

【The China Post 每日精選】:三

英文中國郵報 2017/03/19 06:06:00
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Conglomerate with over a century's presence in China sees a new round of opportunities thanks to the country's initiatives 

▲圖/翻攝自中國郵報

Jebsen Group-a conglomerate with a rich business portfolio ranging from beer to car components-believes the Chinese government's initiatives in boosting the consumption-led and services-led economy, as well as the urbanization and growth of the middle class, are giving it real growth opportunities.

A private marketing and distribution company established in 1895 with more than 120 years of continuous presence in China, these days Jebsen represents more than 200 leading brands across various industries. The group employs more than 2,300 people and is headquartered in Hong Kong, with nine additional offices in the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Macao.

In 2015, the conglomerate reorganized and optimized its business structure. Under the unified master brand of Jebsen, the group has four strategic business units including Jebsen Consumer, Jebsen Beverage, Jebsen Industrial and Jebsen Motors.

The strategy shift appears to have paid off, with the group last year posting revenues of HK$13.3 billion ($1.71 billion) and net taxed profit up 5 percent from a year ago. The group's revenue has already tripled over the last 10 years.

Group Managing Director Helmuth Hennig shared his perspectives on how Jebsen Group could drive further business growth amid the slowing down of the Chinese economy. The following are edited excerpts of an interview with Hennig:

How can China's economic changes, from being investment and infrastructure-led to being consumption and services-oriented, create business opportunities?

Although Chinese economic growth is slowing, it is still at a reasonably high level and China's GDP growth in 2016 reached 6.7 percent. If you look at the upper segment of the middle class in China, this segment of the population is actually growing and has higher disposable incomes. They still have the desire to spend money.

How will the business units of Jebsen Group respond to the new business environment?

We strive to offer quality brands that can add to the lifestyle of the middle class. We offer upper premium products targeting the middle class, and these products are not mass produced or mainstream consumer products. Even though the market itself may not grow quickly at the end of the day, if you look at specific market segments that we are in, we still have significant growth.

Urbanization, aging population and the rise of middle class: how do these phenomena positively contribute to the group's business?

All these allow us to be confident that our consumer business will grow quite significantly over the next few years. Retail sales in China are slowing, but in major Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, people want to buy quality products rather than products in large quantity.

Chinese consumers have much more understanding of brands because of the information flow from the internet. They are very willing to look through the internet to search for products. We have built our own platforms in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. In the mainland we also partner with other platforms, such as Tmall, to offer high quality electronic and lifestyle products.

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