Thai Beverage (THBEV SP) has posted two straight years of declining revenues, as sales were hurt by measures meant to slow the spread of Covid19. We originally recommended ThaiBev on 19 Oct 2020, expecting that as vaccines became widely available, bars and nightclubs would reopen and restrictions on international travel would end. Even though restrictions have largely remained in place, ThaiBev has returned 30% in US dollar terms (21.7% annualised) since our recommendation. We are reiterating our BUY recommendation now, as Southeast Asian countries have begun to relax Covid-19 restrictions.
Thaibev’s annual revenues last year were 10% below their 2019 prepandemic peak. ThaiBev typically increases its revenue and earnings. Southeast Asia has a youthful population and a growing middle class.
Globally, the trend is toward relaxing or ending Covid-19 restrictions. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, have cancelled nearly all Covid restrictions and the virus declared endemic. Expectations are for countries in Southeast Asia to follow. Optimism about reopening has pushed ThaiBev’s shares up 6.8% over the last 30 days, even as global markets struggle.
ThaiBev’s two key markets are Thailand and Vietnam, which contributed 76% and 18% FY21 revenue respectively.
Thailand lifted on 1 Feb the requirement for seven-day mandatory hotel quarantines for foreign arrivals starting from February 1st. According to data from Statista, Thailand is also the fifth biggest consumer of alcohol per capita in the world and the beer market in the country is expected to grow annually by 5.75% (CAGR 2022-2025).
Ho Chi Minh City reopened its bars, dance clubs and karaoke parlors on Jan 10 after eight months of suspension due to Covid-19. Their reopening would help satisfy entertainment demands of the people and boost tourism and economic recovery, according to the culture department.