Crest Builder eyes non-infra rail works

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by ARIF KARTONO

Crest Builder Holdings Bhd plans to bid for some of the non-infrastructure works for the development of the RM44 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

Its MD Eric Yong said the construction firm has participated in the pre-qualification (Pre-Q) exercise for the railway project in May, with aims to build depot stations in Pahang and Negri Sembilan.

“We have submitted the Pre-Q exercise for ECRL packages and we hope to be tendering for their building-base packages. Also potentially, we want to participate in the transit-oriented development packages.

“We are looking at Negri Sembilan and Bentong, Pahang. At these areas, we are still very competitive, unlike Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru where we have to compete with many local players,” Yong said at the firm’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“We are eyeing their depot stations because the track and infrastructure works are not our forte,” he added.

Last April, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) had agreed to renew the railway project at a reduced cost of RM21.5 billion.

MRL and CCCC said in a joint statement yesterday that 1,321 submissions from Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)-registered companies were received by ECRL’s main contractor during the Pre-Q exercise for the civil works of the railway project.

Meanwhile, Yong said Crest Builder’s orderbook currently stood at RM1.4 billion after securing RM100 million in the first half of 2019, while aiming to secure RM600 million for the remaining of the year.

“This year, we are tendering about more than RM2 billion with a success rate of between 16% and 20%, and we have secured RM100 million for a couple of projects earlier this year.

“For 2019, the internal target is to achieve RM600 million, mainly the construction projects,” he said.

On the group’s financial performance for its 2019 financial year (FY19), Yong said the group’s bottom line may not be able to imitate its commendable performance last year due to the cyclical phase of their projects.

“Our FY19 performance is probably not going to be a record…but it will be close enough to FY18. We are looking at how to drive the construction market to compensate for the property slowdown. “For example, we have projects which are still at an early stage, while some are completed. The revenue will still be good, but the bottom line will be slightly lower than our previous year,” he said.

For its FY18, the group’s net profit jumped more than double to RM70.37 million from RM28.05 million in the previous years, while its revenue rose 19.5% to RM595.4 million from RM498.2 million.

Yesterday, Crest Builder’s share price closed two sen or 1.89% higher at RM1.08, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM169.44 million.