Corporate results: Pesona Metro, Priceworth, Utusan Melayu, Berjaya Food, GSB, Bermaz Auto, Lafarge
Pesona awarded RM238.45m construction contract 
Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd’s subsidiary, Pesona Metro Sdn Bhd, has a received a contract from Lakefront Residence Sdn Bhd for the construction and mechanical and electrical  works on two residential strata building blocks worth for RM238.45 million. Lakefront is a subsidiary of MCT Bhd and developer of the project, Pesona’s exchange filing yesterday noted. The contract is for 27 months commencing March 15, 2019. Pesona intends to fund the work with its internal generated funds and short-term project financing facilities from banks. 
 
Priceworth to restart its plywood mill operations in Sandakan soon
Priceworth International Bhd expects to restart operations at its plywood mill in Sandakan, Sabah, soon having secured the return of about 11,000 cubic metres of logs from the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD). The timber and forest plantation group added it has agreed to pay the royalty, premium, conservation fee and related costs for 11,098.78 cubic metres of logs. Priceworth, in its exchange filing yesterday added, it will continue to engage with the Sabah Forestry Department on resuming harvesting operations at FMU 5. Priceworth halted harvesting operations in July 2018 following inspections by the Sabah state government’s Special Task Force.
 
Utusan disposes of two factories for RM13.5m
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn Bhd, had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Magna Mahsuri Sdn Bhd for the disposal of two adjoining semi-detached factories in Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Kuala Lumpur, for a combined value of RM13.5 million. In an exchange filing yesterday, the media group noted the proposed disposal provides an opportunity to unlock the immediate value of the property. The net proceed from the proposed disposal are intended to be utilised partially to fund working capital requirements for the Utusan Group to finance its day-to-day operations, including payment to creditors, such as suppliers and statutory obligations, administrative expenses, such as salaries and wages and other operating expenses, such as promotional activities etc. It added the actual utilisation has not been determined at this juncture and may differ at the time of utilisation.
 
Berjaya Food posts RM8.98m net profit for 3Q19
Berjaya Food Bhd posted a net profit of RM8.98 million for its third-quarter ended Jan 31, 2019, versus a net loss of RM10.85 million it made in the same period a year ago. The improved performance was made possible by higher contribution from Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd (Starbucks) and improved performance from Kenny Rogers Roasters’ operations in the quarter. Revenue for the period increased 10% year-on-year to RM180.54 million on same-store-sales growth recorded by Starbucks on top of additional cafes operating in the quarter. In its exchange filing yesterday, the group expects the renewed consumer confidence level coupled with its expansion plans to drive its business growth moving forward. Berjaya Food has recommended a third interim dividend of 1 sen per share, bring its total dividend declared for the financial period to 3 sen single-tier dividend per share.
 
GSB disposes of assets worth RM18.78m
GSB Group Bhd has entered into a conditional share sale agreement with Bentong Makmur Holdings Sdn Bhd, Gan Pik Mui and Gan Boon Kat for the proposed disposal of Banda Industries Sdn Bhd and GSB Hotel Sdn Bhd for RM18.78 million. In an exchange filing yesterday, GSB noted Banda Industries is sold for RM16.58 million which includes a purchase consideration of RM9.58 million and settlement of amount owing to GSB and its subsidiaries by Banda Industries amounting to RM7 million. GSB Hotel was sold for RM2.2 million, comprising a purchase consideration of RM3.69 million, and netting off the amount owing by GSB and its subsidiaries to GSB Hotel amounting to RM1.5 million.
Based on the purchase considerations vis-à-vis the net carrying value of the target companies as at Mar 31, 2018, GSB is expected to record a gain of RM0.97 million which will be fully utilised to pay advances due to Boon Kat and Pik Mui pursuant to the settlement arrangement. 
 
Bermaz Auto 3Q profit doubled to RM81m
Bermaz Auto Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Jan 31, 2019 (3Q) doubled to RM81 million from RM40.47 million a year ago due to higher revenue from the domestic operations and a significantly higher share of profit contribution from Mazda Malaysia Sdn Bhd. In an exchange filing yesterday, Bermaz Auto noted the higher share of profit contribution from the associate company was mainly attributed to an increase in production volume for the new CX-5 model to cater for both the domestic and export markets. The company also registered an all-time high quarterly revenue as the 3Q revenue which rose 39.1% year-on-year (YoY) to RM778.13 million on higher share of profit contribution from Mazda Malaysia was mainly attributed to an increase in production volume for the new CX-5 model to cater for both the domestic and export markets. The directors are of the view the group’s performance for the remaining quarter will remain satisfactory. The board has recommended a third interim dividend of 4.5 sen to be paid on Apr 25, 2019.
 
Lafarge named Yeoh as its CEO
Lafarge Malaysia Bhd has named Yeoh Khoon Cheng as its new CEO effective Wednesday, the cement maker’s noted in its exchange filing Wednesday. Yeoh, who is also the chief finance officer (CFO), was appointed as the company’s interim CEO on Nov 16, 2018. Lafarge noted it has appointed Edward James Coultrup as the new CFO effective on the same date.