KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): Scientex Bhd's net profit slipped 12.4% to RM124.98 million in the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2022 (4QFY22) from RM142.65 million, hit by higher tax and interest expenses amid margin compression in its property segment.
Quarterly earnings per share declined to 8.06 sen, from 9.2 sen in 4QFY21. Scientex proposed a final dividend of five sen per share, to be payable on Jan 9, 2023, bringing its FY22 total to nine sen, unchanged from FY21.
The weaker results came about despite a higher quarterly operating profit from improved packaging business sales, which also helped Scientex post a 14.52% increase in quarterly revenue to a record RM1.11 billion from RM970.36 million.
Comparatively, group quarterly operating profit rose a marginal 1.6% to RM178.66 million from RM175.82 million, as the impact of higher material and labour costs in its construction segment was more than offset by higher sales and selling prices in the packaging segment.
Of its 4QFY22 revenue, the packaging segment contributed to 66.7% or RM740.8 million of the total, growing 20% year-on-year from RM617.4 million.
Its property development segment made up the remaining 33.3% or RM370.5 million, up 5% from RM352.9 million previously, contributed by strong progress billings and new launches.
For FY22 as a whole, Scientex's net profit fell by 10.4% to RM409.87 million from RM457.23 million, despite a 9% increase in revenue to a record RM3.99 billion from RM3.66 billion, due to higher contribution from the group's packaging division.
On its prospects, the group said the packaging division continues to see economic headwinds with the threat of global recession fanned by inflationary pressures.
"Our new robotic state-of-the-art stretch film plant located in Shah Alam is expected to be fully commissioned in the first half of [FY23]," the company said in its filing.
In a separate statement, Scientex chief executive officer Lim Peng Jin said the packaging division is poised to open up new markets, while the property segment is seeing steady demand for affordable homes.
"We are also strengthening our operational resilience and supply chain efficiencies, and note gradual improvements in labour availability for both divisions. We are thus optimistic about achieving stable performance in FY23," Lim said.
"The recent acquisition of Taisei Lamick Malaysia provides an immediate foothold in the fast-growing film business for liquid and paste packaging, as well as enhances our diversified offering especially in the food and beverage sector in Malaysia and regionally.
"Furthermore, we are committed to bringing more affordable homes to the Malaysian population. In this respect, we will launch our maiden project in Sungai Petani, Kedah in FY23 as we expand our footprint into more states," he added.
At the time of writing on Thursday (Sept 29), Scientex's share price gained six sen or 1.73% to RM3.52, giving it a market capitalisation of RM5.46 billion.