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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 29): Based on corporate announcements and news flow, companies in focus tomorrow (Aug 30) could include Axiata Group Bhd, Kimlun Corp Bhd, TH Plantations Bhd, Bina Darulaman Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and Leong Hup International Bhd.

Axiata Group Bhd president and CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim dismissed speculation that the group's planned merger with Norway's Telenor ASA has been called off, saying the deal is on track and the due diligence for it is now 70% done.

He also reiterated that negotiations with Telenor on the matter are expected to take three to six months, with talks targeted to be concluded by early November.

"This is the single biggest M&A (merger and acquisition) in 20 years in the whole region, except North Asia. This is huge, unheard of. It's not about problems, it's about complexity," said Jamaludin during Axiata's briefing on its second quarter results.

Kimlun Corp Bhd's net profit rose 36.6% to RM13.45 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, from RM9.85 million a year ago, on higher revenue achieved by the construction and manufacturing and trading (M&T) divisions.

This resulted in a higher earnings per share of 4.05 sen compared with 3.07 sen previously.

Revenue  increased 49.2% to RM325.17 million from RM217.97 million.

Kimlun said its construction revenue increased 45%, mainly due to higher revenue contribution from the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project on higher percentage of completion.

The improvement in M&T revenue by 84.2% was due to higher volume of precast concrete products supplied to the MRT2 project and quarry products supplied to the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project.

The improved quarterly performance lifted the group's net profit for the cumulative six months by 30.6% to RM29.38 million from RM22.5 million a year ago, while revenue was up 46.7% to RM643.72 million from RM438.9 million.

TH Plantations Bhd (THP) reported a net loss of RM19.15 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, compared to a net profit of RM200,000 a year ago. This marks its fourth consecutive quarter of losses since it fell into the red in the third quarter of last year.

THP’s revenue for the quarter retreated 23% to RM106.11 million from RM138.56 million.

“The weaker performance was largely the result of significantly lower prices of crude palm oil and palm kernel and higher finance cost," said THP.

For the six months ended June 30, the group posted a net loss of RM27.24 million, compared with a net profit of RM3.43 million in the previous year's corresponding period. Cumulative revenue fell 15% to RM221.4 million from RM259.79 million.

Bina Darulaman Bhd’s (BDB) net loss contracted 49% to RM4.86 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 from RM9.45 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

Revenue fell 11% to RM47.26 million from RM52.98 million previously.

“The group managed to narrow its losses as a result of its business turnaround initiatives which focuses on business improvement processes to deliver better margins and cost optimisation exercise,” said the property developer.

For the six months ended June 30, BDB reported a reduced net loss of RM10.71 million compared with RM20.21 million in the same period last year, while revenue fell 13% to RM86.94 million from RM100 million.

PPB Group Bhd’s net profit nearly halved to RM159.98 million in its second quarter ended June 30, 2019 from RM304.47 million a year ago, no thanks to lower contribution from associate Wilmar International Ltd and weaker profit in its core grain and agribusiness segment.

This brings its earnings per share down to 11.25 sen from 21.4 sen despite 6.5% growth in quarterly revenue to RM1.15 billion from RM1.08 billion.

The group declared an interim dividend of eight sen per share payable on Oct 2.

For the first half of the financial period ended June 30, net profit fell 17.3% to RM408.42 million from RM493.99 million in the same period last year. Cumulative revenue grew 3.7% to RM2.31 billion from RM2.23 billion.

Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (MoF Inc) and Gamuda Bhd's 70%-owned unit, Kesas Holdings, have agreed to extend the cut-off date to negotiate and finalise the terms of the definitive agreement on the takeover of highway concessions to Oct 31 from Aug 30.

The group’s associated companies as well as its joint venture company and MOF Inc have also agreed to extend the negotiations.

In June, Gamuda accepted a proposed offer by MoF Inc to purchase all of its equity stake in four companies. The companies are Kesas Sdn Bhd, Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd (Sprint), Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) and Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir dan Terowong Sdn Bhd (Smart).

Leong Hup International Bhd, whose share price has tumbled below its initial public offer price of RM1.10, reported a sharp 76% fall in net profit to RM16.09 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 from RM65.66 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

The dismal performance was due to the depressed selling prices of its products, the group said.

Chief executive officer Tan Sri Lau Tuang Nguang said the group’s earnings are expected to improve in the current third quarter ending Sept 30.

The poultry group’s quarterly revenue, however, grew 4% to RM1.48 billion from RM1.42 billion in the previous corresponding quarter.

Despite the profit contraction, Leong Hup declared an interim dividend of 1.6 sen per share, amounting to RM58.4 million, payable on Sept 30.

For the six months ended June 30, net profit declined 35% to RM76.67 million from RM118.35 million in the previous year, while cumulative revenue increased 8% to RM2.98 billion from RM2.77 billion.

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