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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus for Friday (Feb 7) may include the following: ARB Bhd, Atrium REIT, Berjaya Food Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, FGV Holdings Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

ARB Bhd posted a record quarter as net profit jumped 157.15% to RM12.79 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (4QFY19) from RM4.96 million a year earlier, driven by its mainstay information technology business.

Quarterly revenue grew more than six times to RM45 million from RM6.92 million in 4QFY18.

FY19 is also a record year for ARB in terms of both top and bottom line, as net profit surged by seven times to RM34.77 million from RM4.23 million in the previous year, while revenue rose by six times to RM102.64 million from RM15.26 million.

Atrium Real Estate Investment Trust (Atrium REIT) net rental income for 4QFY19 jumped 69.8% to RM8.13 million from RM4.79 million in 4QFY18.

The better results came on the back of higher gross revenue of RM7.61 million from RM4.9 million in 4QFY18 as well as lower property operating expenses for the quarter. The REIT has declared dividend of 2.23 sen per unit, bringing its full-year total to 6.63 sen — down from 8.1 sen in FY18.

For FY19, Atrium REIT’s net rental income grew 24% to RM21.41 million from RM17.26 million as gross revenue expanded 19.05% to RM22.6 million from RM18.78 million.

Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood) reported a net profit of RM8.01 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (2QFY20) on revenue of RM184.12 million. It has recommended dividend of one sen per share, with the entitlement date fixed on March 12, and payment on March 26.

BFood pointed out that it has been “adversely impacted by the adoption of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standard 16 Leases (MFRS 16): Leases”.

For its cumulative six-month period, BFood posted a net profit of RM12.62 million on revenue of RM364.56 million.

Pre-tax profit came in at RM21.71 million, it said. “The profit before tax would have been RM25.79 million, if the total lease rentals of all the leased outlets were accounted for under the previous accounting standard for leases,” it noted.

Ekovest Bhd and a subsidiary are being sued by a former joint venture  partner, Samling Resources Sdn Bhd, in relation to a RM2.11 billion work package under the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway project.

Samling and Ekovest had formed a JV for a sub-contract, with scope equivalent to 30% of the total sub-contracted packages of the project. It was reported that Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), which awarded the project, did not consent to the project to be subcontracted to the JV.

Samling is claiming general damages with interests, costs, and further relief deemed fit by the court. Ekovest opined it has good defence, and may strike out the applications “where necessary”.

In July last year, Ekovest had initiated arbitration proceedings against Samling for the wrongful termination of the JV.

FGV Holdings Bhd could be the winner if palm oil supply to Pakistan rises following Islamabad's expression of interest to import more palm oil from Malaysia, said Palm Oil Analytics owner and co-founder Dr Sathia Varqa.

He said the plantation company has a large presence in Pakistan and recently announced to Bursa Malaysia that it is exploring a new investment there. Recently, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to buy more Malaysian palm oil to compensate for top buyer India's move to restrict imports from Malaysia.

PPB Group Bhd’s indirect wholly-owned unit Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) is shutting down its GSC outlet in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur on Feb 17.

This marks an end to GSC’s over 12-year run in Pavilion since its launch as a 13-screen multiplex on Nov 28, 2007.

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