This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on February 19, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: InNature Bhd, which makes its debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Thursday, posted a 13.9% decline in its core profit after tax for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (4QFY19), compared with RM10.2 million a year ago.
Net profit for the quarter came in at RM7.91 million versus RM19.77 million a year ago, despite higher revenue, mainly because the group recorded a one-off fair value gain from the distribution of non-cash assets to owners that amounted to RM10.03 million for the previous year.
The company also incurred a RM1.48 million listing expense during the quarter under review.
Revenue, however, grew 2.6% to RM53.49 million from RM52.15 million previously.
InNature, which holds the exclusive trading and distribution licence for The Body Shop products, declared a special dividend of one sen per share for FY19, payable on April 30.
For FY19, its core profit after tax fell to RM33.74 million from RM36.09 million the year before.
Net profit was RM30.15 million or 4.77 sen a share, compared with RM45.63 million or 7.22 sen a share for the previous year.
Annual revenue was up almost 4% to RM191.68 million, from RM184.48 million.
InNature said the lower earnings were primarily due to additional operating costs in Malaysia arising from headcount expansion and store lease renewal, as well as lesser income/gain from rental, foreign exchange and disposal of property, plant and equipment.
On prospects, the company noted that its operating environment had been clouded by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Nevertheless, InNature said it expects to see overall continuous revenue growth and to remain profitable in FY20.
“Having been in the business for the past 35 years, such a negative event is not new to us, and despite some foreseen challenges in 1QFY20, we will continue to manage our business with vigilance during this period of uncertainty,” said InNature, adding that the company will continue to invest in its businesses, both existing and new, according to its initial public offering proceeds utilisation plan.