It could be building up a bigger cash buffer.
Sheng Siong Group could be preparing its war chest as it faces heightened competition from both brick-and-mortar supermarkets and e-commerce giants Amazon and RedMart.
According to UOB Kay Hian analyst Nicholas Leow, this might very well be the reason why the supermarket giant has declared a dividend of 1.55 S-cents per share in the quarter.
This is compared to the 1.90 S-cents per share it declared last year.
"We have lowered our payout assumption for 2017-19 from 90% to 70% to reflect the cut in dividends and consider this as a prudent move from the conservative Sheng Siong management to build up a bigger cash buffer in the face of heightened competition," the analyst noted.
To recall, Sheng Siong's revenue grew 6.8% higher, thanks to new store openings and an improvement in same stores sales growth of 0.9%.
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