BAT, Country View, Globetronics, Puncak Niaga, Melati Ehsan, IGB REIT and Yinson

KUALA LUMPUR (July 26): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (July 27) could include: BAT, Country View, Globetronics, Puncak Niaga, Melati Ehsan, IGB REIT and Yinson.

The steep 40% excise duty hike last November has been singled out by British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) as the principal factor that caused its sales volume to contract 28.9% in the first half of this year and the resultant 78% year-on-year dive in earnings in its second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16).

The quarter's net profit came in at RM47.72 million compared with RM219.35 million a year ago, as it lost market share to illegal cigarettes after excise duty hike.

Quarterly revenue, meanwhile, shrunk 11.51% to RM962.58 million from RM1.09 billion, its bourse filing showed. The group also declared a second interim dividend of 45 sen, payable on Aug 25.

Aside from weaker revenue, the group also made a provision for restructuring expenses of RM86 million in relation to the winding down of BAT's factory operations in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Six-month cumulative earnings more than halved to RM220.33 million from RM461.09 million in previous corresponding period, while cumulative revenue retreated 16.02% to RM1.98 billion from RM2.36 billion.

"The total legal domestic market experienced a volume decline of 26.3% in the first half of 2016. Consequently, BAT Malaysia saw a contraction to its domestic and duty free volumes by 28.9%, versus the first half of last year," said BAT managing director (MD) Erik Stoel in a statement.

He said outlook for the remaining part of 2016 will be very much dependent on the performance of the legal market.

Based on its 1HFY16 results, BAT said it expects FY16 profit from operations to be lower than FY15's.

Country View Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended May 31, 2016 (2QFY16) was up 54.42% year-on-year at RM4.696 million from RM3.041 million, as revenue gained 21.19% to RM33.36 million from RM27.54 million.

The property developer said the improved performance was due to more units sold and the quarter receiving contribution from its development of three-storey terrace houses in Taman Nusa Sentral, Iskandar Puteri (formerly known as Nusajaya), as construction progressed.

Country View proposed a first interim dividend of four sen, payable on Aug 25.

However, its first half (1HFY16) net profit fell 32.94% to RM7.79 million from 1HFY15's RM11.61 million, mainly because Country View had recognised a one-off profit from selling a piece of commercial land in 1QFY15. Revenue came to RM60.89 million, versus RM63.22 million in 1HFY15.

Globetronics Technology Bhd's net profit dived 64% to RM6.52 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16) from RM17.93 million last year, as its Malaysia and Singapore segments saw lower sales and earnings.

Revenue declined by 36% to RM57.41 million for the quarter from RM89.03 million a year earlier.

"The lower revenue and net profit were mainly due to lower volume loadings from some of the group's customers as a result of reduction in end customers' demand and forex (foreign exchange) loss recognised, amounting to RM4.7 million," said the group in a bourse filing.

For the first half of its financial year ending Dec 31, 2016 (1HFY16), net profit plunged 71% to RM10.2 million from RM35.08 million in 1HFY15, on the back of a 35% contraction in cumulative revenue for the period.

Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd has appointed Azlan Shah Rozali, the son of major shareholder and executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, as acting MD of the company effective Aug 3.

He will replace Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir, who is resigning due to health reasons.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Puncak Niaga said Azlan Shah, 30, will cease to be the alternate director to Rozali Ismail on the same day.

Melati Ehsan Holdings Bhd's third quarter net profit jumped by more than nine times to RM7.6 million from RM827,000 a year ago, mainly due to a gain from the disposal of a subsidiary company.

Revenue for the quarter ended May 31, 2016 (3QFY16), however, fell 71.3% to RM13.3 million from RM46.3 million in 3QFY15, it said in a bourse filing.

Net profit for the nine-month period (9MFY16) grew 209.2% to RM17.03 million or 14.25 sen per share from RM5.51 million or 4.61 sen per share in 9MFY15.

Revenue dropped 67.5% to RM50.16 million from RM154.3 million.

Melati Ehsan said its construction segment recorded revenue of RM43.16 million and pre-tax loss of RM2.8 million in 3QFY16 compared to RM121.9 million in revenue and RM5.2 million in pre-tax profit a year earlier due to reduced construction activities.

IGB Real Estate Investment Trust (IGB REIT) reported flat growth in net property income (NPI) for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16) of RM86.64 million from RM86.35 million a year ago, mainly due to higher total rental income and higher property costs in the current quarter.

The trust's revenue rose 2.6% to RM124.6 million in 2QFY16 from RM121.36 million in 2QFY15, mainly due to higher total rental income.

It also declared a distribution per unit (DPU) of 4.41 sen for the first half of 2016, which is lower than the DPU of 4.47 sen a year ago, payable on Aug 29.

For the cumulative six months (1HFY16), NPI was RM180.26 million, up 2.2% compared with RM176.39 million a year ago, mainly due to higher total rental income in the period. Revenue grew 3.6% to RM255.81 million from RM246.8 million in 1HFY15.

The distributable income for 1HFY16 amounted to RM158.1 million or 4.53 sen per unit, consisting of realised profit of RM138.8 million and the non-cash adjustment arising mainly from manager fee payable in units of RM16.7 million, IGB REIT said.

Yinson Holdings Bhd said it has completed the disposal of its non-oil and gas (O&G) subsidiaries to Liannex Labuan Ltd, and has proposed a special dividend of up to RM160 million.

In a statement, the group said the proceeds of RM223.2 million from the exercise comprises the disposal consideration of RM161 million, which is based on the pro forma consolidated net assets of the disposal companies of RM158 million, and inter-company loans of RM62.2 million owed by the disposed subsidiaries.

It is noted that the RM223.2 million in proceeds is slightly lower than the initial offer price of RM228 million by Liannex Labuan, which was announced in January.

"The total consideration is subject to the completion audit/review and shall be adjusted accordingly in the event the actual net assets is higher or lower than the agreed net assets of the disposal companies of RM158 million as at Jan 31, 2016," it said.