Tuesday 30 May 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 16): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, the companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov 17) could include the following: Parkson, Ta Ann, Alam Maritim, Sapura Resources, WCT, Star Media, OSK Ventures, XingHe, S P Setia and BHIC.

Parkson Holdings Bhd, which reported a 69% year-on-year (y-o-y) net profit decline for the financial year ended June 30, 2015 (FY15) due to lower sales performance in its Malaysia, China, Vietnam and Myanmar operations, expects consumer sentiment to stay weak, but is banking on its ongoing rebranding campaign to revive its retailing business across the region.

For Malaysia, Parkson Retail Asia Ltd non-executive director Datuk Magic Lee sees the depreciating ringgit and the implementation of the goods and services tax in April as dragging consumer sentiments down, but noted that they must prepare for market recovery.

The group ploughed RM100 million into its rebranding campaign over the last one and a half years and targets to expand to 100 brands from 35 brands.

Lee declined to disclose the group's investment going forward, saying much depends on the response to its rebranding campaign.

"We hope that with this (rebranding campaign), we will see the group's sales grow by at least 50%, compared with what we have achieved in FY15," he said.

Parkson saw its revenue for FY15 grow 5.2% to RM3.74 billion, from RM3.55 billion in FY14.

Ta Ann Holdings Bhd's net profit jumped 55% y-o-y to RM67.42 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2015, from RM43.61 million a year earlier, mainly due to higher fresh fruit bunch production, better export logs and plywood selling prices, and profit from its Tasmanian operations.

Revenue for the quarter rose 5% to RM298.91 million from RM284.71 million in the previous year, according to Ta Ann's filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

The group declared a second interim single-tier dividend of 10 sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015 (FY15), payable on Dec 22 - the same quantum declared in the corresponding period last year.

For the cumulative period ended Sept 30 (9MFY15), the group saw a 25% improvement in net profit, backed by a 5% increase in revenue for the period.

Its 9MFY15 profit had also exceeded the profit recorded for the entire FY14; Ta Ann expects its timber and palm oil sectors to maintain their positive profit contribution.

Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) has downgraded Alam Maritim Resources Bhd's RM500 million Sukuk Ijarah Medium Term Notes to AIS from A+IS due to weakened business risk profile because of tough operating environment but revised its sukuk issuance outlook to stable from negative, expecting the group to sustain its current financial profile and no significant reduction in its order book from current level.

In a statement today, MARC said the rating action affects RM115 million of outstanding sukuk issued under the rated programme.

As at end-June 2015, Alam Maritim's order book stood at RM745.5 million, about 18.6% lower from RM915.8 million as at end-2014, and charter rates have also come under pressure, with rates for existing contracts renegotiated lower by between 3% and 10% and for new contracts by up to 20%.

However, MARC views Alam Maritim's established position in the offshore support vessel segment, together with a lengthy operating track record and a fleet of 44 vessels, to be supportive of the group's ability to weather the storm in the oil and gas sector.

Sapura Resources Bhd said it is discussing a possible divestment of its education businesses, in response to Bursa Malaysia's unusual market activity query earlier today.

In its filing with the exchange, the group said it is unaware of the reason behind the rise in its share price recently, but noted several news reports highlighting Sapura's stake in APIIT Sdn Bhd and Asia Pacific University Sdn Bhd.

"The company is in the midst of discussion relating to a possible divestment of its education businesses, of which the terms have not been finalised at this juncture.

"The company will make the necessary announcement(s) in compliance with its obligations under the Main Market Listing Requirements of Bursa Securities if and when discussions have been finalised and the company executes any definitive agreements," it said.

WCT Holdings Bhd won a three-year subcontract works worth RM282.57 million for the construction and completion of several packages for the 276-km West Coast Expressway (WCE) from Taiping to Banting.

In a Bursa filing today, the construction firm said its wholly-owned subsidiary WCT Bhd accepted the subcontract works from IJM Construction Sdn Bhd today to construct and complete for WCE Package Works for Sections 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9.

The group said the scope of works for the subcontract generally consists of preliminaries, site clearance and earthworks, geotechnical works, drainage works and box culverts, sub-base, road base and pavement, traffic signs, road markings and road furniture, utilities and services, erosion control sediment plan, environmental protection and enhancement.

The works shall be completed in 36 months from the commencement date.

Star Media Group Bhd saw its net profit fall 31.1% to RM23.64 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 (3QFY15) from RM34.3 million a year ago, dragged by higher direct costs from its subsidiary, Singapore-listed Cityneon Holdings Ltd, and lower revenue from the print segment and I.Star Ideas Factory Sdn Bhd.

Revenue for 3QFY15, however, grew 3% to RM254.51 million from RM247.18 million in 3QFY14 due to higher contribution from the event segment.

In a Bursa filing today, Star Media said its print and digital revenue declined by 7.4% mainly due to lower advertising revenue caused by poor consumer sentiments, the slowdown in the economy and the weakening ringgit.

The quarter's weaker earnings dragged down the group's net profit for the nine-month period (9MFY15), which fell 7.2% to RM83.48 million from RM89.93 million in 9MFY14.

Revenue rose by 0.74% to RM738.25 million in 9MFY15 from RM732.85 million in 9MFY14.

OSK Ventures International Bhd posted a net loss of RM10.12 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 (3QFY15) when compared to a net profit of RM9.71 million in 3QFY14 due to decrease in market value in most of its quoted investments.

The loss was mainly due to fair market valuation loss of the listed portfolio of RM13.48 million in 3QFY15 as compared to fair market valuation gain of RM9.78 million in 3QFY14.

In a Bursa filing, the company said its 3QFY15 revenue fell 90.82% to RM3.01 million, from RM32.86 million, due to lower proceeds arising from lower disposal of financial instruments activity during the quarter.

The company also recorded a net loss of RM15.29 million for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2015 (9MFY15), from a net profit of RM4.39 million a year ago.

For 9MFY15, the company recorded a lower revenue of RM29.12 million, down 61.89% from RM76.41 million in the previous year due to the same reasons.

China-based ACE Market-listed XingHe Holdings Bhd is terminating its partnership with Arab Supplier Fabrication and Retail Sdn Bhd (Asfar), following winding up proceedings filed against Asfar.

In a Bursa filing, XingHe said it delivered a termination letter dated Nov 9 to Asfar to end their agreement within seven days of the letter's date.

"The termination of the agreement will not have any material effect on the earnings, net assets and gearing of the company and the group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015," said XingHe.

XingHe had on March 31 announced that the group was teaming up with Asfar, a manufacturer and exporter of palm-related products, to set up a new edible oil manufacturing plant at the Port Klang Free Zone, Selangor, and to explore export opportunities to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asian regions.

Property developer S P Setia Bhd has made its third inroad into the Australian property market with its acquisition of a parcel of land in Melbourne for A$6.68 million (RM20.79 million), to be developed into a 48 unit four-level apartment complex with a gross development value (GDV) of AUS$34 million (RM105.84 million).

The land measures 2,074 sq m and is located about 11 km from Melbourne's Central Business District.

S P Setia acting president and chief executive Datuk Khor Chap Jen admitted that its third foray into Australia is smaller compared to its previous two projects there, namely Fulton Lane and Parque.

"This acquisition is part of our growth strategy for Australia. We aspire to be a prominent developer in Australia and will continue to be on the lookout for good opportunities. Besides looking at huge development opportunities, we plan to offer boutique scale developments of not more than 150 apartments in strategic suburban locations such as Carnegie," he said in a press statement today.

Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd's (BHIC) 60%-owned subsidiary Boustead DCNS Naval Corp Sdn Bhd has clinched a dual currency contract worth €169.86 million (approximately RM800 million) and RM432.4 million - which brings it to a total value of RM1.23 billion - to refit two submarines for the Malaysian government.

BHIC told Bursa today that Boustead DCNS, a joint venture between BHIC Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (60%) and DCNS SA (40%), received and accepted a letter of acceptance today from the government dated Nov 12 for the award of the contract.

The contracted service is for two prime minister's class submarines of the Royal Malaysian Navy, and would begin on Nov 1.

"The contractual refit period for each submarine is 18 months from the respective start date for the relevant submarine refit," said BHIC, adding that the award will positively impact its earnings for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015, and beyond.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)


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