Pelikan’s sales in Germany for the six months to 30 June 2019 were MYR300.1 million ($71 million) versus MYR336 million in 2018, a decline of 10.8%. The decrease was partly due to negative currency effects and the disposal of an IT services unit, but sales into cash-and-carry, wholesaling and supermarket customers also fell sharply. These declines were partially offset by a strong single-digit increase of sales to drugstore retailing customers.
The Malaysia-based group’s overall sales for the period were MYR534.1 million, 8% lower than in the first half of 2018, as the Americas and Rest of World divisions achieved slight revenue increases, while underlying sales in the Rest of Europe were also up as the company noted improved back-to-school performances in markets such as Greece, Hungary and Romania.
Group operating profit was MYR37.8 million, down about 11% year on year as the result in Germany slumped by more than 40%. This was partially offset by improvements in all of Pelikan’s other reportable segments.
Pelikan International’s pre-tax profit in H1 was MYR27.9 million, a 7.7% drop versus last year. Despite the impact of lower sales, the bottom line benefitted from the closure of the loss-making sales office in Spain last year, better operating results of certain Eastern European countries and lower finance costs.
The group is stepping up efforts to develop new geographies such as China, and recently began selling school stationery products into the Chinese market in addition to its existing fine writing instruments presence.