Corporate results: United Plantations, Sunway Construction, APM Automotive, Boustead Plantations, Karex, UEM Edgenta, Tan Chong Motor, Maybulk and Wah Seong
United Plantations declares RM1.10 dividend for FY18
United Plantations Bhd has declared a special single tier dividend of 90 sen per share, in addition to a final single tier dividend of 20 sen per share, for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18). In exchange filings yesterday, the plantation company noted both dividends are to be paid on May 15, 2019. United Plantations has also proposed a renewal of the authority for share buy-backs of up to 10% of its total issued shares. It added assuming the proposed share buy-back is implemented in full and the dividend quantum is maintained at historical levels, it will have the effect of increasing the dividend rate of the company as a result of the reduction in the number of issued shares. 
 
SunCon 4Q earnings up on better margins
Sunway Construction Group Bhd’s (SunCon) net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) rose 26.58% year-on-year (YoY) to RM36.57 million on higher margin, contributed by the construction segment. Earnings per share for the quarter was 2.83 sen. In an exchange filing yesterday, SunCon noted its construction segment’s pretax  profit for the quarter increased 31.1% YoY to RM50.2 million due partly to higher profit on a project. Revenue for the three months declined 16.33% YoY to RM626.02 million due to its construction segment completing a building project in Putrajaya Parcel F which will be handed over in 1Q19. For the full year, SunCon’s net profit rose 9.37% YoY to RM144.69 million, while revenue increased 8.65% Yoy to RM2.26 billion. The board has declared a second interim single tier dividend of 3.5 sen, to be paid on Apr 17, 2019.
 
Higher auto sales drive up APM’s 4Q profit 
APM Automotive Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) climbed 32.37% year-on-year (YoY) to RM17.34 million on higher revenue. In an exchange filing yesterday, the auto part maker noted its interior and plastics division remains the top revenue and pretax contributor with continued strong demand from certain original equipment manufacturer (OEM) models. Revenue for the three months increased 16.81% YoY to RM382.59 million on higher total industry production volume of motor vehicles in the quarter. Earnings per share in 4Q was 8.86 sen. For the full year, APM Automotive’s net profit decreased marginally to RM38.44 million, while revenue was up 11.76% YoY at RM1.33 billion. APM was recommends a final dividend of 7 sen per share.
 
Boustead Plantations posts RM12.9m net loss in 4Q
Boustead Plantations Bhd posted a net loss of RM12.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) as against a net profit of RM22.17 million in the same period a year ago, due to weaker palm product prices and increase in interest expense attributed to the acquisition of Pertama estates. Revenue for the period fell 28.24% year-on-year (YoY) to RM156.56 million due to the same reasons. For the full financial year, Boustead Plantations posted a net loss of RM51.78 million versus a net profit of RM620.17 million in 2017, mainly because the FY17 results had included a gain on disposal of plantation assets of RM554.9 million. In its exchange filing yesterday, Boustead Plantations noted at its operations level, performance was impacted by the decline in selling prices, sluggish production and increasing cost. Revenue for the year declined 23.17% YoY to RM584.01 million.
 
Karex 2Q profit halves on poorer sales mix
Karex Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (2QFY19) more than halved to RM1.4 million from RM3.17 million in 2Q18 as operations were lower due to less favourable sales mix. Revenue for the period increased to RM113.55 million from RM110.52 million in 2Q18 on higher sales of its sexual wellness segment which grew by 1.7% to RM104.5 million mainly due to more tender orders being shipped out in 2QFY19.
Earnings per share for the quarter was 0.14 sen. Karex noted in its exchange filing yesterday it remains optimistic of its long-term prospects as the group continues to capture orders from new markets while implementing additional automation into its manufacturing processes to remain cost competitive. 
 
UEM Edgenta 4Q earnings plunges 79% on absence of one-off gain
UEM Edgenta Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) plunged 79.15% year-on-year (YoY) to RM67.73 million due to the absence of one-off gain during the quarter. In the same quarter last year, the group recognised a one-off RM270.8 million gain from the disposal of Opus International Consultants (OIC). Pretax profit for the quarter of RM82.9 million was higher by RM7.5 million compared to RM75.4 million recorded in 4Q17 due to higher contributions from most of its segments. Revenue for the three months decreased to RM647.35 million from RM672.31 million in 4Q17 due to lower revenue contributions from its consultancy and infra services segments. For the full financial year, UEM Edgenta’s net profit fell 64.55% Yoy to RM148.24 million while revenue increased 2.83% YoY to RM2.18 billion. The company has declared a second interim dividend of eight sen payable on May 9.
 
Tan Chong Motor posts a profitable 2018
Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd posted a net profit of RM51.56 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) as compared to net loss of RM7.19 million in 4Q17 due to higher operating profit. Revenue for the period rose 8.33% year-on-year (YoY) at RM1.17 billion due partly to higher number of vehicles sold. For the full year (FY18), Tan Chong Motor’s posted a net profit of RM101.03 million versus a net loss of RM88.60 million in FY17 as revenue increased 11.98% YoY to RM4.86 billion, its exchange filing yesterday revealed. The automotive division recorded a higher revenue of RM4.75 billion for the year due to higher number of vehicles sold in the domestic and overseas market. Tax holiday sales contributed to the higher sales in the domestic market for FY18, the company said. Its financial services division recorded a higher revenue of RM91.9 million due to higher loan book size as of Dec 31, 2018 compared to FY17. The company has recommended a final single tier dividend of two sen per share.
 
Maybulk posts RM406.44m net profit in 4Q
Malaysian Bulk Carriers Bhd (Maybulk) posted a net profit of RM406.44 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), as against a net loss of RM73.17 million in 4Q17, mainly due to RM140.33 million reversal of impairment loss on associate and RM265.93 million gain on disposal of associate. The shipping concern recorded a 40.64 sen earnings per share in 4Q17. Revenue for the period was 3.47% year-on-year (YoY) lower at RM69.04 million. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), Maybulk posted a net profit of RM263.84 million as compared to a net loss of RM134.95 million in FY17, while revenue decreased 12.33% Yoy to RM238.97 million. Its dry bulk business reported a lower loss of RM9.50 million in the year compared to a loss of RM21.39 million in FY17 mainly due to higher charter rates. The improved performance was achieved despite a reduced fleet size. Its investment holding and others segment reported a profit of RM247.29 million in FY18 compared to a loss of RM216.11 million in FY17, mainly due to gain on disposal of associate and reduced loss from a associate company, its exchange filing yesterday noted.
 
Wah Seong Corp slips into the red in 4Q
Wah Seong Corp Bhd (Wasco) slipped into the red in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) with a net loss of RM9.98 million  due to higher taxation, its exchange filing yesterday noted. The pipe maker for the oil and gas (O&G) sector posted a net profit of RM65.96 million last year for the same period. Revenue for the quarter declined 27.86% year-on-year (YoY) to RM706.37 million due to lower revenue contributed from its oil and gas (O&G) as well as industrial trading and services segments. The O&G segment’s external revenue for 4Q was RM453 million as compared to RM710.5 million in the same quarter last year, mainly as a result of low level of activities especially in the Asia Pacific Region. Its industrial trading and services segment’s external revenue for the quarter was RM111 million as compared to RM147.5 million in 4Q17, mainly due to weak market conditions resulting in lower sales of building materials and HDPE pipes. For the full year, Wasco’s net profit fell 42.67% YoY to RM64.80 million while revenue increased 18.88% YoY to RM2.96 billion.