Petronas Chemicals, Zecon, Tien Wah Press, Malayan Flour Mills, Hong Leong Industries, S P Setia, Malaysia Smelting, Gas Malaysia, Asia Bioenergy Technologies, and My E.G.

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 9): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus for tomorrow (Nov 10) may include the following: Petronas Chemicals Bhd, Zecon Bhd, Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd, Malayan Flour Mills Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, S P Setia Bhd, Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd, Gas Malaysia Bhd, Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd, and My E.G. Services Bhd.

Petronas Chemicals Bhd (PetChem) registered 2.47% growth in net profit in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3QFY17), thanks to higher production and sales volume achieved upon commissioning of its Sabah Ammonia Urea (SAMUR) plant in May this year.

PetChem said quarterly net profit rose to RM913 million, from RM891 million a year ago. Earnings per share was, however, unchanged on-year at 11 sen. PetChem declared no dividend for the quarter.

Revenue in 3QFY17 rose 12.6% to RM4.01 billion from RM3.56 billion last year, in tandem with higher sales volume, further supported by the strengthening of the US dollar in the quarter under review despite lower plant utilisation by percentage.

Zecon Bhd, whose net profit fell 54.7% for the financial year ended June 30, 2017 (FY17), expects a hospital project it is undertaking to bring in some RM100 million per year over a 10-year period from FY19.

Describing the project as a cash cow, Zecon's corporate finance and accounts vice president Jamil Jamaludin said, however, that the group's gearing level is likely to be three times more from the current 1.36 times next year as it hits the peak funding period for the project.

Jamil said the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Permata Children's Specialist Hospital project in Cheras is an in-house project undertaken on a build, lease and maintain concept over a 25.5-year concession period.

Meanwhile, the Kuching-based group sees property development as its next engine of growth particularly with the kick-off of its RM11 billion gross development value Kota Petra project on a 2,000-acre land soon.

Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd remained in the red after posting a net loss of RM7.09 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3QFY17) — its second consecutive losing quarter — following the cessation of its printing operations in the country that was announced on July 20. In comparison, it posted a net profit of RM4.16 million in 3QFY16.

It recorded a total closure cost of RM13.6 million. A foreign exchange loss of RM2.4 million — as opposed to a forex gain of RM900,000 a year ago — and cost incurred for its new operations in Dubai, which started commercial production in October, also impacted its bottomline.

Quarterly revenue, however, grew 26% year-on-year to RM104.5 million from RM82.93 million, mainly to the revenue consolidation of a newly acquired foreign unit.

Malayan Flour Mills Bhd (MFM) reported a 70% surge in net profit for its third financial quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3QFY17) to RM23.51 million or 4.27 sen per share, from RM13.83 million or 2.51 sen per share in 3QFY16, due to higher profit in its flour and grains trading segment, coupled with a higher share of profit from its joint venture company, PT Bungasari Flour Mills Indonesia.

MFM reported a 2.7% increase in revenue to RM630.97 million in 3QFY17, from RM614.4 million a year ago, on higher sales in flour and grains trading segment, which was partially offset by lower sales recorded in its poultry integration segment.

Hong Leong Industries Bhd (HLI) recorded a higher net profit of RM81.86 million for its first financial quarter ended Sept 2017 (1QFY18), up 26.3% from RM64.77 million for the corresponding quarter in the previous year, mainly attributable to higher revenue from the consumer products segment.

Its consumer products segment registered a profit before taxation of RM81.27 million, while its industrial products segment contributed RM2.67 million.

Group-wide quarterly revenue stood at RM629.43 million, higher by 11.2% compared with RM565.75 million recorded in 1QFY17.

S P Setia Bhd announced today an 88.9% surge in its net profit for third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 at RM253.22 million, from RM134.07 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago, riding on the completion of phase 1 of its Battersea Power Station project in the United Kingdom.

Quarterly revenue, meanwhile, shrank 33.3% to RM842.49 million, from RM1.26 billion last year, due to less overall recognition from its Malaysian operation as projects were completed and handed over in the previous quarter.

Earnings per share rose to 7.11 sen from 4.88 sen a year ago.

Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd registered a 55.8% drop in net profit for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3QFY17) at RM7.65 million, from the RM17.3 million recorded in the same quarter last year.

Revenue, however, was 24.8% higher at RM403.17 million compared with RM323.13 million in 3QFY16, thanks to higher sales quantity and tin prices.

Gas Malaysia Bhd's net profit inched up 2.91% to RM44.46 million for the third quarter ended Sept 20, 2017 (3QFY17) from RM43.2 million in the same quarter last year, in line with the increase in volume of gas sold.

Quarterly revenue stood at RM1.4 billion, up 31.4% from RM1.07 billion recorded in 3QFY16, mainly due to the higher volume of gas sold as well as higher natural gas tariff.

Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd's subsidiary Asiabio Petroleum Sdn Bhd has entered a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peri Formwork Malaysia Sdn Bhd and AT Engineering Solution Sdn Bhd — a subsidiary of AT Systematization Bhd — to research the scaffolding and formwork market in Malaysia.

Asia Bioenergy said the purpose of the tri-party MoU is to research and determine the market potential cost and profit benefits over the next five years in Malaysia of the scaffolding and formwork market, which is estimated to be worth RM400 million in the next two years for the oil and gas industry.

My E.G. Services Bhd (MyEG) is planning to add the provision of foreign workers accommodation to its core business, which it expects can potentially contribute 25% or more to its bottomline as a new source of recurring income.

The new venture, called Foreign Worker Accommodation Programme, entails the setting up and management of centralised and integrated living quarters or hostels for the purpose of housing foreign workers, it said.