Mustika Ratu looks to Malaysia
for boost

Publicly listed traditional cosmetics maker PT Mustika Ratu (MRAT) wants to boost sales in Malaysia, its leading export destination, amid softening demand in other countries.

Mustika Ratu president director Putri Kuswisnu Wardani said on Wednesday that the company wanted to increase its sales in Malaysia by 30 percent this year.

The company booked Rp 406 billion (US$43.2 million) in net sales last year, with 6 percent, or Rp 24 billion, attributed to exports. Malaysia dominated the company’s overseas distribution, accounting for 65 percent of the firm’s total exports.

Mustika Ratu’s second-largest export destination was Saudi Arabia, followed by Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, China, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Dubai.

“The economic crisis that hit Europe has slowed our exports this year and the implementation of ACFTA [the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area] made export conditions more competitive in the region,” Putri said.

“We have to anticipate the situation by boosting sales at our primary export destination,” she added.

Mustika Ratu currently has 15 distributors in Malaysia and has plans to add three more: Sun Jiang Sendirian Berhad, Kara Sendirian Berhad and Banee Sendirian Berhad. The new distributors would start operation in July, according to Putri.

“Despite our expansion plan in Malaysia, we will also strengthen our domestic sales to cope with the lowered demand for global exports,” Putri said.

“Our strategy is to shift our distribution focus to traditional markets,” she added.

Mustika Ratu had a large and untapped potential to distribute its products through traditional markets, Putri said.

The company currently markets its products through four branches and 50 distributors, including cosmetic retailers, hypermarkets, minimarkets and department stores.

In Indonesia, there were upwards of 70,000 modern markets, Putri said. The figure could be as high as 3 million, including stand-alone retailers such as warung (informal retailers).

“We are beginning to look for the potential in the traditional markets and warung,” she said.

Mustika Ratu also has plans to boost its production volume up to 30 percent this year to support its sales push.

“We are currently renovating our factory in Ciracas, East Jakarta, and adding more machines, with a total investment value of Rp 15 billion,” Putri said.

The renovations would be finished in the next three months, she added.

The company’s biggest sales last year came from its Mustika Ratu brand, which accounted for 50 percent of total sales, followed by Mustika Puteri, which accounted for 30 percent.

Mustika Ratu products are comprised of traditional and herbal-based cosmetics, herbal drinks, and hair facial and body care products, while its Mustika Puteri targeting teenage girls has several products, including basic make-up, cologne and deodorant.

The company, which was founded by Mooryati Soedibyo in 1978, recorded Rp 27.9 billion in net profits last year, up 14.34 percent from Rp 24.4 billion a year earlier.

The firm’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday agreed to disburse 25 percent of last year’s net profits as dividend.

Mustika Ratu’s stock shares traded at Rp 560 apiece on Wednesday, up 5.7 percent from the previous day. (nad)

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