Corporate results : Lafarge, Bintulu Port, YTL, Pos Malaysia, Hengyuan, Velesto, Genting, UMW, MBM, Icon Offshore, MAA
Lafarge 4Q loss narrows on cost measures
Lafarge Malaysia Bhd net loss for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) narrowed 28.8% year-on-year to RM57 million or 6.8 sen loss per share (LPS) from a net loss of RM80.1 million or 9.4 sen LPS due to distribution cost savings following a restructuring exercise. In a filling with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the cement maker’s revenue for the quarter decreased 4% YoY to RM548.1 million on lower sales of cement but compensated partially by higher exports. On a full-year basis, Lafarge’s net loss rose 48% YoY to RM319.3 million or LPS of 37.6 sen as result of higher production cost, lower production output and increased in energy prices. Revenue for the year dropped 5% YoY to RM2.12 billion due to decline in offtake of ready-mixed concrete from nearly completed major projects. Moving forward, Lafarge said there is growing demand for clinker in the export market with improving prices, despite a challenging domestic market. 
 
Bintulu Port 4Q profit up on cargo handled
Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd’s net profit for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), rose 84% year-on-year (YoY) to RM82.86 million from RM45.03 million a year ago on handling of general cargo and containers. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the port operator noted revenue for the period increased 6% YoY to RM198.06 million and it declared an interim dividend of six sen per share, to be paid on April 19. On a full-year basis, net profit declined 7% YoY to RM142.04 million despite revenue rising to RM686.14 million from RM679.82 million in FY17. The company, in its filing, expects liquefied natural gas (LNG) and palm oil cargoes and the Samalaju Industrial Port to contribute positively towards the group’s performance this year. It expects LNG supplies to normalise in the second half of 2019.
 
YTL Corp 2Q profit falls on weaker unit performances
YTL Corp Bhd posted a 64.8% year-on-year (YoY) decline in net profit to RM44.82 million or earnings per share of 0.42 sen for its second quarter ended Dec 31, 2018.  THe group noted its management services segment posted a loss while its utilities and property investment sectors registered lower profits, with the latter noting an exchange loss in the asset section. Revenue increased by 17% YoY to RM4.55 billion due to higher contribution from all of its segments except information technology and cement manufacturing, YTL exchange filing yesterday stated. Revenue was driven by the significant increase in construction works, the 3 Orchard By-The-Park and the Camellia projects undertaken by its subsidiaries, higher distribution income, Star Hill Hotel Sdn Bhd and higher fuel oil price.
 
Pos Malaysia 2Q hit by weaker logistics business
Pos Malaysia Bhd reported its second quarterly loss in nearly 10 years, recording a RM13.02 million net loss in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (3QFY19), due to lower revenue contribution from the international and logistics segments. Revenue for the three months decreased 6.36% year-on-year (YoY) to RM581.24 million. Pos Malaysia group CEO Syed Md Najib Syed Md Noor said operating conditions remain challenging for the the group as a whole. “The traditional mail business which is part of our universal postal services obligation for the government continues to be saddled with high operating costs and increased migration onto electronic and digital media by commercial customers. We continue to work with the government and our regulator to agree on a pricing mechanism to partly offset our universal obligation cost,” he said in a statement yesterday. 
 
Hengyuan 4Q hit by shotdowns
Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd posted a RM72 million net loss in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), versus a RM204.09 million net profit it made in 4Q17,  due to scheduled production downtime which commenced on Aug 6, 2018 and was completed on Oct 21, 2018. Revenue decreased 18.77% year-on-year (YoY) to RM2.51 billion for the three-month, the oil refiner noted in its exchange filing yesterday. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), Hengyuan’s net profit plunged 96.68% YoY to RM30.84 million while revenue fell 2.94% YoY to RM11.24 billion. Its refinery in Port Dickson recorded a reduced sales volume of 8.2 million barrels and 35.2 million barrels respectively for the 4Q and FY18, compared to the 10.4 million barrels and 41.1 million barrels recorded respectively in 4Q17 and FY17. Market quoted product prices in the 4Q and 12-month period averaged US$72 (RM292.32) per barrel and US$79 per barrel respectively, higher than the average price of US$71 per barrel and US$65 per barrel respectively in the comparative periods.
 
Velesto back in the black 
Velesto Energy Bhd ended its financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) with a net profit of RM14.75 million in the fourth quarter (4Q18) against a net loss of RM975.26 million a year ago for the same period. The change in fortunes in the past quarter was due to impairment losses in the previous year amounting to RM982.1 million compared to RM11.3 million in 4Q18. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the offshore drilling service provider registered lower revenue of RM150.32 million, down 16.7% year-on-year (YoY), on lower utilisation of its rigs. For the full year, net loss shrank to RM17.89 million from RM1.13 billion net loss in FY17 as turnover declined 2.3% YoY to RM573.19 million on lower average foreign exchange rate. The group expects an improved financial performance in 2019, based on a higher utilisation forecast for both its jack-up drilling rigs and hydraulic workover units beginning 2Q19.
 
Genting 4Q profit soars on leisure business
Genting Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), soared to RM655.16 million from RM132.1 million posted in 4Q17, boosted by higher income from its leisure and hospitality business. Resorts World Sentosa registered higher earnings for the quarter as average daily visitation and visitor spending rose across all offerings. Its hotels had an occupancy rate of 85%, outperforming the industry, Genting said in a filing with the exchange yesterday. Revenue for the quarter increased 2.7% year-on-year (YoY) to RM5.4 billion as result. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), Genting’s net profit declined 4.9% YoY to RM1.37 billion and revenue edged 4.1% YoY higher to RM20.85 billion. The group has recommended a final single-tier dividend of 6 sen per share, with a further special single-tier dividend of 7 sen per share. Total dividend for FY18 will amount to 21.5 sen per share.
 
UMW benefits from auto business recovery
UMW Holdings Bhd posted a net profit of RM15.07 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), against a net loss of RM422.11 million in 4Q17, due to higher contribution from its manufacturing and engineering segments. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the diversified group stated revenue for the quarter fell 9.8% year-on-year (YoY) to RM2.68 billion on lower number of vehicles sold by its automotive segment. For the full year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), UMW posted a net profit of RM341.66 million compared to a net loss of RM640.61 million in FY17. Total turnover increased 2.2% YoY to RM11.31 billion mainly attributed to its divestment of the oil and gas business. Moving forward, the group will continue to focus on strengthening its three core businesses, namely automotive, equipment and manufacturing and engineering. The group declared a final dividend of 2.5 sen per share for FY18.
 
MBM Resources profit rises on demand for Peroduas
MBM Resources Bhd’s revenue for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 increased to RM498.9 million or 15.3% year-on-year (YoY) due to improved results from its motor trading division as well as joint venture and associates. In a filing exchange, the automotive group stated its net profit for the quarter amounted to RM60 million or 15.37 sen earnings per share as compared to the loss of RM181.6 million it made for the same period a year ago. The motor trading segment’s revenue  increased 18.5% YoY to RM438.1 million driven by high demand for the Perodua vehicles while its auto parts manufacturing top line declined 6.8% YoY to RM58.5 million due to product mix with higher module assembly demand. MBM declared an interim dividend of three sen per share. For the full financial year (FY), it posted a revenue of RM1.92 billion as compared to RM1.72 billion in FY17 on the back of higher production demand from customers to fulfill back orders. Its motor trading segment increased by 5% due to increased supply to compensate for supply shortage in the previous quarters while the auto parts segment had also increased 6.8% r due to product mix and higher production demand to meet vehicles supply shortage. Growth is expected to be driven by private sector demand amid continuing fiscal rationalisation in the government.
 
Icon Offshore hit by huge impairment of vessels
Icon Offshore Bhd posted a net loss of RM415.1 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18) against a net loss of RM46.81 million a year ago due to higher impairment of vessels. In an exchange filing yesterday, the support services provider to the oil and gas sector noted the impairments during the quarter was RM419.9 million compared to RM37.7 million in 4Q17. Revenue for the three months fell 6.76% year-on-year (YoY) to RM46.77 million due to lower utilisation rates, which was a result of delay in vessel delivery to service Integrated Logistic Control Tower contracts and few vessels were off-hired during the current quarter monsoon season. For the full financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY18), Icon Offshore reported a net loss of RM439.97 million while revenue fell 2.38% (YoY) to RM199.75 million. In its filing the group noted it will continue to focus on securing new contracts and maximising utilisation rate through competitive tendering for domestic and regional contracts, as well as leveraging on its continued presence in Brunei. Activity in the upstream exploration and production in Malaysia is expected to gradually increase but continue to be volatile and underpin the demand for offshore support vessel.
 
MAA’s major shareholders offer to take it private
MAA Group Bhd’s major shareholders are bidding to take the company private via a selective capital reduction (SCR) and repayment exercise at RM1.10 per share. The Practice Notice 17 (PN17) company received a letter yesterday from its major shareholders, Melewar Acquisitions Ltd and Melewar Equities (BVI) Ltd, which hold stakes of 28.82% and 9.85% respectively, as well as persons acting in concert (PACs), requesting for the SCR. The PACs include MAA executive chairman Tunku Datuk Yaacob Kyra, Kyra Legacy Bhd and Melewar Equities Sdn Bhd. Under the proposed SCR, entitled shareholders will receive a total capital repayment of RM184.51 million cash or RM1.10 per share. Upon completion of the proposed SCR, the group’s issued share capital will be reduced by RM184.51 million and all 167.74 million shares held by the entitled shareholders will be cancelled.