SunCon, Salcon, Southern Steel, JAKS Resources, Lion Corp, UMW OG, AFG and AMMB

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 22): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that might be in focus tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug 23) include: Sunway Construction Group (SunCon), Salcon, Southern Steel, JAKS Resources, Lion Corp, UMW Oil & Gas Corp (UMW OG), Alliance Financial Group (AFG) and AMMB Holdings.

Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon) has clinched the construction contract for the proposed new campus of the International School of Kuala Lumpur in Ampang, worth RM268 million.

The construction outfit told Bursa Malaysia that its unit, Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd, is tasked to undertake the main building works for the development of the project along Jalan Ampang Hilir for a 22-month period.

Upon award of the project, SunCon's outstanding order book to date amounts to RM4.9 billion.

Salcon Bhd has secured a RM66.78 million subcontract for the Langat Centralised Sewage Treatment Plant project from MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of MMC Corp Bhd.

The piping specialist told the local bourse that the contract awarded to its wholly-owned unit, Salcon Engineering Bhd, comprises the conversion of 10 sewage treatment plants into network pumping stations.

"This forms an integral part of the total component of works for the design and build of the 920,000 population equivalent (PE) Langat Centralised Sewage Treatment Plant project, currently undertaken by the MMC group," said Salcon in a statement.

Salcon expects the project to be completed in 24 months from the date of site possession.

It expects the project to contribute positively towards earnings for financial year ending Dec 31, 2016 (FY16) to FY18.

The latest win brings the total value of contracts won by Salcon in 2016, up to RM300 million. The group has tendered for RM2.2 billion worth of water and wastewater projects, both locally and overseas.

Southern Steel Bhd posted a sharply wide net loss of RM112.68 million or 26.86 sen per share for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2016 (4QFY16), due to a RM141 million write off of property, plant and equipment of a subsidiary.

The steel maker had reported a net loss of RM1.24 million or 0.3 sen per share for 4QFY15.

It told stock exchange that its revenue was 3.2% lower at RM590.88 million, from RM610.66 million in 4QFY15.  

It is worth noting that its 4QFY16 loss is the company's biggest since eight years ago, when it reported a net loss of RM259.85 million for 4QFY08.

Southern Steel said the RM141 million write off was a result of Southern Steel's wholly-owned subsidiary, Southern HRC Sdn Bhd (SHRC), terminating a contract signed with Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche SpA in July.  

The significant quarterly net loss brings its full year net loss for FY16 to RM221.15 million or 52.73 sen per share, versus RM117.58 million or 28.03 sen per share in FY15. Revenue fell 5.1% to RM2.4 billion, from RM2.53 billion.  

Going forward, Southern Steel said the market remains volatile, as the outcome of the safeguard measure petitions against the imports is still pending, whilst the threat of cheap imports from China continues.  

Nevertheless, it expects better operating performance for FY17, with sustained efficiency efforts and firmer selling prices.

JAKS Resources Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 (2QFY16) surged more than three times to RM9.83 million, from RM3.26 million in the corresponding period a year ago, boosted by higher profit from construction division and the trading and manufacturing divisions.

Quarterly revenue was 80% higher at RM159.1 million, from RM88.3 million in 2QFY15.

For the year-to-date period (1HFY16), its net profit grew 72.2% on year to RM10.9 million, from RM6.33 million in 1HFY15; while revenue gained 40.9% to RM281.9 million, from RM200.1 million in 1HFY15.

Moving forward, with the existing order books in hand on jobs from the domestic market and construction jobs that would be coming on-stream from the Vietnam venture, JAKS Resources said its construction division is expected to perform satisfactorily, as the progress of work moves according to schedule.

It added that the property market remains challenging on the back of slower economic momentum, due to the weaker purchasing sentiment post-GST, coupled with tighter lending from banks that impacts both sales of commercial and residential units of the property development division.

Lion Corp Bhd's fourth quarter net loss improved to RM94.35 million, from RM207.79 million a year earlier, due to lower foreign exchange losses and lower impairment losses.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (4QFY16), it recognised a forex loss of RM6.46 million, versus RM22.8 million in 4QFY15. Impairment loss on investment, meanwhile, fell to RM41,000, from RM2.58 million.

Quarterly revenue shrunk 93.2% to RM29.83 million, from RM436.49 million in 4QFY15, due to lower selling price and sales volume of hot rolled coils resulting from the persistent dumping activities by foreign exporters. 

It told Bursa Malaysia that its annual net loss narrowed to RM459.44 million, from RM522.97 million in FY15. Revenue dropped 66.4% to RM701.19 million, from RM2.09 billion.

Lion Corp foresee tougher operating environment ahead, as a result of the temporary cessation of operations of a major subsidiary, Megasteel Sdn Bhd.

UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW OG) posted a net loss of RM67.25 million or 3.11 sen per share in the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16), compared with a net profit of RM4.46 million or 0.21 sen per share in the previous corresponding quarter, due to prolonged oil and gas sector downturn.

This is the third consecutive quarterly loss for UMW OG. On a quarterly basis, the group's net loss has narrowed by 6.2%, as compared with RM68.53 million in 1QFY16.

Quarterly revenue dropped 29.1% to RM130.01 million, from RM183.37 million, as the drilling services and oilfield services segments continued to be impacted by low levels of exploration, development and production activities in the oil and gas industry.

For the cumulative six months (1HFY16), it posted a net loss of RM132.32 million or 6.12 sen per share, compared with a net profit of RM36.61 million or 1.69 sen per share in 1HFY15, also due to the same reason.

Cumulative revenue more than halved to RM217.69 million, from RM495.87 million previously, as weak oil prices took their toll on exploration, development and production activities in the oil and gas industry.

Going forward, UMW OG said its financial performance for the remaining period of the year is dependent on outcome of potential local and overseas contracts, which the group is currently working on.

"If the group succeeds in securing some of these potential contracts, asset utilisation in the last quarter of 2016 is expected to improve," it added.

Alliance Financial Group Bhd (AFG) posted 8.65% growth in net profit for the first quarter ended June 30, 2016 (1QFY17) to RM132.47 million or 8.7 sen per share, from RM121.93 million or 8 sen per share a year ago, driven by higher interest income.

Its interest income for the quarter gained 2.41% to RM474.94 million, versus RM463.77 million in 1QFY16, while net interest income climbed 2.09% on year to RM212.11 million, against RM207.77 million in 1QFY16.

For 1QFY17, AFG disclosed it has a total gross loan growth of 3.11% at RM38.14 billion, from RM36.98 billion in 1QFY16.

AFG chief executive officer Joel Kornreich said in view of the economic outlook, the group will continue to apply its franchise strength to meet the needs of its customers and help them be successful.

"This, in turn, will help them create value for their other stakeholders," he explained.

AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank)'s net profit fell 4.86% to RM323 million in the first quarter ended June 30, 2016 (1QFY17), from RM339.51 million, while its net income was flat at RM2.06 billion, versus RM2.11 billion in the previous year.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that the reduction in earnings was mainly due to higher other operating expenses, decrease in net interest income and Islamic banking business by RM50.6 million, RM31.2 million and RM9.8 million respectively.

Lower income was reported from other operating income and higher taxation by RM8.8 million and RM6.2 million respectively. The group's financial investments also reported higher impairment loss of RM1.1 million, compared with 1QFY16.

Looking forward, AmBank group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir expects both loans and deposits to grow at a more moderate pace, amid current business and economic conditions.

He also expects credit costs to normalise, and potentially some sector-specific stress.

"We have a sound balance sheet and overall asset quality remains healthy, though we are keeping a watchful eye on some sectors," he added.