MRCB, AmBank, RHB, Mah Sing, Sime Darby, FGV, MSM, Bumi Armada, Alliance, KNM, Iris, Muhibbah Engineering, KPS and Destini

KUALA LUMPUR (May 31): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that will be in focus on Thurday (June 1) may include the following: MRCB, AmBank, RHB, Mah Sing, Sime Darby, FGV, MSM, Bumi Armada, Alliance, KNM, Iris, Muhibbah Engineering, KPS and Destini.

Property development and construction firm Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is partnering the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to jointly develop three parcels of leasehold land in Bukit Jalil here, which have a potential gross development value (GDV) of RM21 billion over a 20-year horizon.

MRCB said its 85%-owned subsidiary Rukun Juang Sdn Bhd has signed a subscription and shareholders agreement (SSA) with EPF's wholly-owned unit Tanjung Wibawa Sdn Bhd to form a joint venture (JV) company called Bukit Jalil Sentral Property Sdn Bhd to jointly undertake the development on the land measuring a combined 76.14 acres.

Rukun Juang will hold a 20% stake in the JV company, while Tanjung Wibawa will own the remaining 80% shares. Under the SSA, Rukun Juang will sell the land to Bukit Jalil Sentral Property for up to RM1.43 billion or RM405 per sq ft.

AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank Group) saw its fourth-quarter net profit rise 19.9% year-on-year, mainly contributed by other operating income, net income from Islamic banking business, writeback for impairment on doubtful sundry receivables and net interest income.

Net profit for the three months ended March 31, 2017 (4QFY17) rose to RM335.81 million from RM280.02 million a year ago. Earnings per share grew to 11.17 sen from 9.32 sen in 4QFY16.

Quarterly revenue increased by a marginal 2% to RM2.15 billion in 4QFY17 from RM2.1 billion in 4QFY16.

The group also proposed a final dividend of 12.6 sen per share for FY17, bringing total dividends to 17.6 sen per share or a payout ratio of 40%.

Separately, Ambank Group and RHB Bank Bhd — two of the country’s largest lenders — have requested a suspension in the trading of their shares tomorrow.

Both groups said the suspension was "pending a material announcement". All structured warrants relating to AMMB and RHB will also be suspended at the same time, the two lenders said in separate filings with Bursa Malaysia.

The announcement by the two banks, in which the Employees' Provident Fund is a common shareholder, has sparked rumours that a potential merger could be on the cards.

Mah Sing Group Bhd posted a net profit of RM90.42 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17), versus RM95.04 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose to RM723.54 million, from RM709.17 million in 1QFY16.

Mah Sing said the group achieved property sales of approximately RM410.3 million as selling, marketing and administrative expenses rose.

Sime Darby Bhd reported a 5% rise in third quarter net profit at RM699 million from RM663 million a year earlier on higher income from its oil palm plantation besides heavy-equipment and car dealerships.

Sime Darby runs its heavy-equipment and car dealerships under the group's industrial and motor divisions respectively.

Sime Darby said group revenue climbed to RM12.45 billion in the third quarter ended March 31, 2017 (3QFY17) from RM10.23 billion.

"Net profit growth was capped by higher tax and perpetual sukuk expenses," Sime Darby said.

Higher revenue and lower administrative expenses helped Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) post a net profit of RM2.47 million in its first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) against a net loss of RM81.08 million a year ago.

Earnings per share in the quarter under review stood at 0.1 sen, against 2.2 sen in losses per share in 1QFY16. Quarterly revenue in 1QFY17 grew 15.13% to RM4.32 billion, from RM3.76 billion in the same quarter last year.

The better performance in the quarter was attributable mainly to its plantation and logistics sectors, which benefited from better palm oil product prices and production.

MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd registered a net loss of RM34.62 million or 4.93 sen per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) compared with a net profit of RM59.34 million or 8.44 sen per share a year ago.

The company attributed the net loss to higher raw material costs and the weakened ringgit.

Its quarterly revenue, however, rose 17.32% to RM648.97 million from RM553.16 million in 1QFY16 on the back of improved selling price and higher volume of refined sugar for the domestic market segment.

Offshore energy facilities and services provider Bumi Armada Bhd's net profit for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) doubled to RM48.11 million from RM23.43 million a year earlier, driven mainly by higher contribution from the floating production and operation (FPO) segment.

Revenue for the quarter, however, declined to RM404.17 million from RM430.77 million a year earlier.

It said at the FPO business segment level, revenues increased by 10.7% year-on-year, mainly from initial revenue streams relating to first oil and first gas on Armada Olombendo and Armada LNG Mediterrana respectively.

Alliance Financial Group Bhd's (AFG) fourth-quarter net profit slipped 9.6% y-o-y, on higher allowances for losses on loans, advances, financing and other receivables.

Net profit fell to RM117.39 million in the three months ended March 31, 2017 (4QFY17), from RM129.85 million a year ago. Earnings per share also dropped to 7.7 sen, from 8.5 sen.

Quarterly net income, however, was up 4.1% to RM367.25 million, from RM352.71 million in 4QFY16, mainly from higher net interest income of RM212.75 million.

The group also declared a second interim dividend of 7.5 sen per share, amounting to RM116.1 million, for financial year ended March 31, 2017 (FY17), payable on June 22.

KNM Group Bhd saw its net profit sink 81.81% to RM1.96 million or 0.09 sen per share in its first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) compared with RM10.79 million a year ago, as revenue fell from a lower percentage of completed projects recognised and slower replenishment of new orders due to market uncertainties.

The group saw revenue in the quarter fall 17.7% to RM326.78 million from RM397.07 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

The group’s Asia and Oceanic segment recorded lower performance due to slower replenishment of new orders, while its Europe segment saw slightly lower revenue due to lower project percentage of completion recognised.

IRIS Corp Bhd reported its largest net loss to date of RM291.92 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017 (4QFY17) due mainly to a one-off non-cash impairment arising from the group’s corporate restructuring plan.

This compares with a net profit of RM1.52 million reported by the group for 4QFY16, and a net loss of RM1.79 million for 3QFY17.

Revenue for the quarter rose 13.83% to RM119.35 million from RM104.84 million in 4QFY16.

Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd's net profit in the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) rose 23% year-on-year to RM29.31 million from RM23.75 million despite a substantial drop in revenue, due to higher contribution from its concessions division.

It said its latest profit numbers also looked better because the previous year had reported higher taxation expense due to a one-off taxation payment for prior years of RM3.5 million.

In addition, its cost of sales, other income and operating expenses for 1QFY17 amounted to RM219 million, which was 52.8% lower than the RM463.63 million recorded in 1QFY16.

However, 1QFY17 revenue halved to RM241.49 million from RM481.78 million a year ago.

Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd’s (KPS) net profit plunged by 82.64% to RM20.21 million or four sen a share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17), from RM116.43 million or 23.3 sen a share a year ago, due to realised gain of RM97.5 million on assets held for disposal in FY16.

Revenue clocked in by 300% to RM76.76 million in 1QFY17, from RM19.19 million in the previous year, on strong contributions from its newly-acquired businesses, Century Bond Bhd (CBB) and King Koil Licensing Company Inc.

Cement packaging provider CBB and global mattress brand King Koil reported sales of RM39.6 million and RM8.8 million respectively, making up 63% of 1QFY17 group revenue.

Integrated engineering solutions provider Destini Bhd posted a 40.3% increase in net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (1QFY17) to RM10.05 million, from RM7.17 million a year earlier.

The company attributed the increase to higher demand for the group’s aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, and its marine manufacturing services.

Revenue rose 173.7% to RM223.72 million, from RM81.75 million in 1QFY16, mainly due to higher revenue from its marine manufacturing services.