Tuesday 27 Feb 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies in focus tomorrow (Feb 23) may include: Duopharma Biotech Bhd, Yi-Lai Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd (PetGas), KPower Bhd, Karex Bhd, Innature Bhd, EITA Resources Bhd, Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd, CSC Steel Holdings Bhd, Hextar Global Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Kejuruteraan Asastera Bhd, Samaiden Group Bhd and Solarvest Holdings Bhd.

Duopharma Biotech Bhd posted a 35% increase in its net profit to RM16.19 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM12.03 million a year ago. Its revenue for the quarter contracted 2.7% to RM134.09 million, from RM137.76 million a year earlier. The group proposed a second interim dividend of six sen per share, bringing total dividends for the year to 6.5 sen per share. The group’s cumulative net profit for FY20 increased 6% to RM58.6 million from RM55.27 million in FY19, while revenue fell 1.1% to RM569.9 million from RM576.46 million.

Ceramic and tile manufacturer Yi-Lai Bhd, which saw businessman Au Yee Boon emerge as the largest shareholder in July last year and announced its diversification into the information technology solutions business as part of its turnaround plans in September, has returned to profitability in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), after suffering losses since FY17. For FY20, the group recorded a net profit of RM10.15 million compared with a net loss of RM5.8 million in the previous year, due mainly to a one-off gain on disposal of a leasehold land. This was despite recording a lower revenue of RM91.38 million, down 22.6% from RM117.99 million in FY19. The gain on disposal also resulted in a 6,116.8% surge in its net profit to RM12.19 million for the fourth quarter, from RM196,000 a year ago. Quarterly revenue came in lower at RM23.34 million compared with RM31.53 million previously, due to the Covid-19 pandemic which had resulted in disruption to its businesses.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd's net profit grew 19.8% to RM12.02 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 from RM10.03 million in the preceding quarter, mainly due to better performance by its North Sabah segment. Revenue rose 30.7% to RM190.29 million, from RM145.59 million in the first quarter. The group declared a first interim dividend of 0.5 sen per share, payable on April 8. For the cumulative first six months of FY21, net profit declined 67.3% to RM22.05 million, from RM67.48 million in the same period of FY20, while revenue dropped 22.12% to RM335.78 million from RM431.15 million.

Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd's net profit rose 15.94% to RM33.4 million in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM28.81 million a year earlier, supported by higher operating activities. Earnings per share rose to 55 sen from 47 sen. The increase was recorded despite revenue slipping 2.39% to RM260.95 million, from RM267.34 million previously, due to a temporary closure of the group's factory operations in December 2020. This resulted in production and sales delays in its home and appliance products, as well as its fan products, the group said. For the cumulative nine months ended Dec 31, 2020, it said net profit decreased to RM70.88 million from RM86.69 million, as revenue dropped 16.33% to RM709 million from RM847.33 million.

Petronas Gas Bhd's (PetGas) net profit rose marginally by 3.73% to RM503.35 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM485.27 million in the previous year, on lower operating costs.  The gas infrastructure and utilities company said revenue for the quarter grew slightly to RM1.39 billion from RM1.37 billion a year ago, due to higher contribution from its regasification and gas transportation segments, in line with new tariffs for Regulatory Period 1 (RP1) effective Jan 1 last year.  The group declared a fourth interim dividend of 22 sen per ordinary share amounting to RM435.3 million and a special interim dividend of five sen per ordinary share amounting to RM98.9 million, to be paid on March 22, 2021. For FY20, PetGas posted a net profit of RM2.01 billion versus RM1.94 billion a year ago, as its revenue increased 2.5% to RM5.59 billion from RM5.46 billion, underpinned by sustained revenue streams and lower costs. 

KPower Bhd, formerly known as Kumpulan Powernet Bhd, saw its net profit surge nearly 400% to RM9.25 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM1.86 million a year earlier. The group said earnings per share rose to 11.68 sen from 2.44 sen. Quarterly revenue jumped 560% to RM90.06 million from RM13.64 million, contributed by the group’s construction related activities, as well as property development and investment, and healthcare segments. It said net profit for the first half ended Dec 31, 2020 jumped 520% to RM17.4 million from RM2.81 million in the previous corresponding period, while revenue soared 493% to RM147.13 million from RM24.8 million.

Karex Bhd saw its net profit grow 27 times to RM2.79 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM102,000 a year earlier, thanks to strong condom sales and noteworthy personal lubricant sales. Revenue rose 6.1% to a record high of RM115.75 million, from RM109.09 million previously. For the cumulative six-month period ended Dec 31, 2020, Karex reported a net profit of RM7.24 million, versus a net loss of RM65,000 in the previous corresponding period, due to a more favourable sales mix. Revenue for the period grew 6.18% to RM217.48 million from RM204.82 million, on the back of stronger condom sales in the commercial market, particularly in the Asia and Americas regions.

Innature Bhd’s fourth quarter net profit rose 17.21% to RM7.72 million, from RM6.58 million in the third quarter, largely driven by its businesses in Vietnam and Cambodia, where the Covid-19 situation is better controlled. The Body Shop products distributor said revenue for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 increased 7.58% to RM44.9 million, from RM41.74 million in the preceding quarter. On a year-on-year basis, its quarterly net profit was down 2.44% compared with RM7.91 million posted in the previous fourth quarter, while revenue declined 16.06% from RM53.9 million. Full year net profit was down 33.06% at RM20.18 million, compared with RM30.15 million in the previous year.

EITA Resources Bhd, which makes elevator and busduct systems, saw its net profit for the first quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 slip 0.71% to RM6.03 million from RM6.07 million a year ago, on lower revenue. The group’s quarterly revenue fell 5.53% to RM66.15 million, from RM70.02 million a year ago. It said the fall was due to lower revenue from its marketing and distribution, manufacturing and high voltage system segments.

Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd’s net profit for its third quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 rose 260% to RM6.41 million from RM1.78 million a year ago, thanks to growth in its logistics and warehousing services segment, alongside better cost management. Earnings per share, accordingly, increased to 1.25 sen, from 0.39 sen. Quarterly revenue was only 2.17% higher at RM159.2 million, from RM155.89 million previously. For the cumulative nine months ended Dec 31, 2020, Tiong Nam’s net profit slipped 9.2% to RM4.57 million, from RM5.03 million a year ago, while revenue declined 6.53% to RM431.31 million from RM461.46 million.

CSC Steel Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 jumped more than three times to RM21.43 million, from RM7.07 million a year ago, on higher revenue, better margin and lower cost. Its quarterly revenue also rose 9.91% to RM367.53 million, from RM334.39 million a year ago, due to an increase in sales volume and selling prices of its products. The group proposed a final single tier dividend of seven sen per share. For FY20, the group’s net profit increased 6.31% to RM37 million, from RM34.8 million in FY19, due mainly to better margin contributed by coated products, lower selling and marketing expenditures, as the business focused more on the domestic market, and a reversal of inventory write-off. Full year revenue, however, fell 20.76% to RM1.08 billion, from RM1.36 billion a year earlier, due mainly to the severe interruption of its business operations during the first phase of movement control order from March to May 2020.

Hextar Global Bhd's net profit grew 48.17% to RM11.51 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from RM7.77 million a year earlier, on the back of strong performance by its agrochemical segment. Earnings per share increased to 1.4 sen from 0.95 sen, the agrochemical group said. Quarterly revenue rose 21.74% to RM100.76 million, from RM82.77 million previously. The group declared a fourth interim dividend of 0.8 sen per share, to be paid on March 26, for a total dividend payout of four sen for the financial year. For the full year, its net profit skyrocketed to RM44.54 million from RM2.42 million in the previous year, while revenue climbed 23.82% to RM417.61 million from RM337.28 million, due to operational efficiencies and economies of scale achieved from the enlarged group, following the acquisition that took place in 2Q of 2019. The group also announced a bonus issue of up to 492.4 million new shares on the basis of three new shares for every five existing shares.

United Plantations Bhd has proposed a special dividend of 50 sen, besides a final dividend of 15 sen for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20). The group said the dividends will be paid out on May 7. The counter will go ex on April 26, while the entitlement date falls on April 27.

Hong Kong’s Stanley Choi Chiu Fai has emerged as a substantial shareholder in AirAsia Group Bhd, following the group’s private placement exercise. AirAsia announced that Choi, through his private vehicle Positive Bloom Ltd, acquired 167.1 million AirAsia shares on Feb 18, raising his shareholding in the group to 332.5 million shares or an 8.96% stake. Choi is the chairman of Hong Kong-listed Head and Shoulders Financial Group and International Entertainment Corp. In a statement today, AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the first tranche of its most recent private placement of up to 20% of its total issued share capital was completed last week, with 11.07% having been placed out, raising RM250 million.

Kejuruteraan Asastera Bhd (KAB) has secured a contract worth RM23.4 million from CNQC Engineering & Construction (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for design, supply and maintenance work in Agile Embassy Garden, Kuala Lumpur.  The electrical and mechanical engineering services provider highlighted that the contract will bring the group’s outstanding order book to approximately RM390 million and provide earnings visibility for the next few years. 

Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB) today entered into two collaborations relating to its solar photovoltaic financing programme. Samaiden Group Bhd and Solarvest Holdings Bhd said they had both separately inked memorandums of understanding with HLB to be service providers, and to enable accessibility of the financing of solar businesses across Malaysia, through HLB’s solar photovoltaic financing programme. Both companies will act as designers and installers of the solar system. Both groups noted that the respective contracts will be in effect for two years, and may be renewed every two years with notice from HLB.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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