Hap Seng Plantations, Perisai, Hibiscus, IJM, Panasonic, Protasco, Parkson and Can-One

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 24): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Thursday, Aug 25) could include: Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd, Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, IJM Corp Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Protasco Bhd, Parkson Holdings Bhd and Can-One Bhd.

Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16) increased by 21.5% to RM19.79 million, from RM16.29 million last year. This was due to higher average selling price realisation of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK), but offset somewhat by lower sales volume of CPO.

According to Hap Seng Plantations’ bourse filing today, its 2QFY16 revenue of RM110.56 million is 12.75% higher than the RM98.05 million in the prior year's corresponding quarter.

It declared a first interim dividend of three sen per share, which will go ex on Sept 7, 2016.

For the first half of its financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 (1HFY16), Hap Seng Plantations’ net profit declined by 3.54% to RM36.44 million or 4.56 sen a share, from RM37.78 million or 4.72 sen a share in the corresponding period a year ago.

It was mainly due to lower sales volume as production output in the earlier part of the current year was affected by the severe dry weather in Sabah caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, but mitigated by higher average price realisation.

Revenue for 1HFY16 edged up by 1.35% to RM214.72 million, from RM211.87 million.

Concerns over tight supplies, anticipation of higher exports and anticipated onset of the La Nina phenomenon from August to October 2016, have boosted palm oil prices in recent weeks, said the company.

"The increase in the minimum wage of employees with effect from July 2016, labour shortages and the volatility of the ringgit vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar are expected to be ongoing challenges faced by the plantation industry in Malaysia,” said Hap Seng Plantations.

Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd said it had started talks with holders of its S$125 million (US$92.36 million) bond maturing on Oct 3, Reuters reported.

Perisai said its interest cover ratio had fallen below the required minimum for the quarter ended June 30, adding it was taking steps to meet the covenant.

"Continuing depressed oil prices has caused uncertainty on the outlook for the demand for the oil and gas assets in the short to medium terms," Perisai said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia.

Perisai reported a net loss of RM2.7 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16), compared with a net profit of RM1.6 million a year earlier.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd posted a net profit of RM18.95 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (4QFY16), thanks to significant contribution to profits derived from the production and sales of oil and gas from the Anasuria Cluster in UK. Last year, it posted a net loss of RM34.27 million.

This was the second consecutive quarter Hibiscus reported a profit. Revenue for the quarter ballooned to RM50.58 million, from RM831,000 a year earlier.

Hibiscus however remained in the red in financial year ended June 30, 2016 (FY16), with net loss of RM59.96 million or 5.65 sen per share, as compared with RM65.25 million or 7.4 sen per share in FY15.

Annual revenue rocketed to RM83.56 million, from RM7.1 million a year earlier, its filing on Bursa Malaysia revealed.

Hibiscus Petroleum managing director Kenneth Pereira said the group is looking forward to a period of sustained revenues and recurring profitability from the Anasuria Cluster.

"Securing capital for growth in the current oil and gas market is difficult, so we are grateful to be generating positive cash flows. We hope that income from Anasuria and other fund raising initiatives will allow us to exploit further opportunities within the Anasuria Cluster and consider other new ventures," he said in a separate statement filed on stock exchange.

With an all-time high outstanding order book of RM8.6 billion and more infrastructure contracts flowing, IJM Corp Bhd says its construction division can make up for the slowdown in the property business.

Chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon expressed confidence  that the construction business will surpass its order book replenishment floor target value of RM2 billion for the current financial year ending March 31, 2017 (FY17).

"As it is, we already added roughly RM1.7 billion into our order book in the first three months of this financial year," he told reporters, after IJM Corp's annual general meeting today.

"We have an annual churn target of RM2 billion to RM2.5 billion. So, yes, I think we can surpass the RM2 billion (target) easily this year," he said.

IJM Corp Bhd filing with Bursa Malayisa today showed 1QFY17 revenue expanded by 11% to RM1.31 billion, from RM1.18 billion a year ago. The growth was mainly driven by its construction division.

However, the diversified group's 1QFY17 net profit declined nearly 66% to RM115.52 million or 3.22 sen per share, from RM336.87 million or 9.46 sen per share previously. The lower earnings is partly due to a one-off gain of RM168.7 million in the previous corresponding quarter, arising from the disposal of a 74% equity interest in Jaipur-Mahua Tollway Pte Ltd.

Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd’s net profit rose 20.4% to RM38.3 million or 63 sen per share for its first quarter ended June 30, 2016 (1QFY17), from RM31.8 million or 52 sen per share a year earlier.

Revenue increased by 11.4% to RM297.8 million, the group said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.

It said the higher revenue was led by stronger sales in domestic and export markets for home appliances and fan products.

Meanwhile, the group said economic and political uncertainties in the Middle East are expected to have an impact on its export revenue, as sales to the region contribute approximately 20% to its total revenue.

The fluctuating ringgit against the dollar would also have an impact on its export revenue. Panasonic said it will also continue to focus on developing new products and optimising production cost.

Protasco Bhd and Kelantan state government-linked firm, Kijang Kuari Sdn Bhd, will jointly undertake road maintenance work in the state, over a two-year period for RM25.7 million.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Protasco said its subsidiary HCM Engineering Sdn Bhd, and Kijang Kuari had signed to undertake the project on a 60:40 basis, via a new company to be set up. 

Protasco said Kijang Kuari has been awarded a 10-year road maintenance contract by the Kelantan Public Works Department. Kijang Kuari is tasked to supply, deliver and pave asphaltic concrete and crusher run for the state road, as well as to do all incidental works necessary from the quarry to the site.

The contract sum of the maintenance work for the first two years has been fixed at RM25.7 million, Protasco said.

"The subsequent contract sum shall be reviewed by the Public Works Department every two years, based on the prevailing market price of the material and labour costs in the state of Kelantan," it added.

Subdued consumer sentiment and growing competition in China have dragged Parkson Holdings Bhd deeper into the red for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2016 (4QFY16) to RM95.8 million, from RM87.19 million

Its retailing business in China reported a loss of RM41.79 million, compared with a profit of RM11.58 million previously, Parkson said in its filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

Parkson's property and others segments' losses also deepened to RM15.49 million, from RM5.28 million a year earlier.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the department store operator said 4QFY16 revenue grew 2.8% to RM884.09 million, from RM860 million, driven by higher sales registered by its Malaysia and Indonesian retailing business.

For the full year (FY16), Parkson reported a net loss of RM89.48 million or 8.3 sen a share, versus a net profit of RM46.59 million or 4.42 sen a share in FY15, mainly due to poor showing by its China retailing business, and property and others segment, which recorded losses of RM90.65 million and RM27.47 million respectively.

This is the first full year net loss for Parkson since FY07.

Revenue for the year was 3.7% higher at RM3.88 billion, compared with RM3.74 billion in FY15.

Moving forward, Parkson said it will continue to execute its strategies to achieve its vision of transforming into a lifestyle concept retailer.

Commenting on its China business, the group said Parkson China is adaptive to changing consumers' demands and has worked through difficult times in the past.

Meanwhile, Parkson expect its retailing operations in the Southeast Asia to remain challenging in the near future. But a growing and young Indonesian middle class could be opportunity for the group to achieve encouraging results, it said.

Can-One Bhd saw its net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16) rise 14% to RM27 million, mainly due to higher sales and sales mix in its food products division, as well as contribution from its associate Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd, amounting to RM12.8 million.

Revenue for the quarter also increased 12% to RM242.05 million, from RM216.57 million in 2QFY15, thanks to higher revenue from its general cans and food products divisions.

For the cumulative six months (1HFY16) however, the group's net profit declined 2% to RM37.95 million or 19.75 sen a share, from RM38.72 million or 24.77 sen a share in 1HFY15, mainly due to lower average selling price caused by intense competition and losses at its flexi packaging and rigid packaging section.

Still, revenue grew 10% to RM446.94 million, from RM407.86 million in 1HFY15.

"We are still optimistic about the performance of the group for the remaining period of year 2016 (ending Dec 31). The group will continue to focus on improving productivity and operational efficiency to mitigate rising cost and enhance competitiveness," Can-One said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

"The recent announcement of price hike of raw sugar by over 30% [is] expected to have an impact on most of the food and beverage players in Malaysia," it said.