Gas Malaysia’s 4Q19 earnings up 13.4%, declares 4.8 sen dividend

By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By Gas Malaysia

GAS Malaysia Bhd’s net profit rose 13.4% year-on-year (YoY) to RM57.93 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (4Q19), from RM51.08 million posted a year ago, mainly due to higher share of results from joint-venture companies (JVCos).

This was partially offset by higher finance cost, operating expenses and administrative expenses recorded during the current quarter, the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Despite the higher earnings, the gas distribution company’s revenue dipped 3.5% to RM1.68 billion during the quarter compared to RM1.74 billion posted in 4Q18, mainly due to the adjustment made based on the gas cost pass-through mechanism during the current quarter, to correct the accruals for under-recovery of gas cost.

“Consequently, the gas cost was reduced with the corresponding amount such that the group and the company remain financially neutral.

“However, the decrease in revenue was partially offset by the upward revision of natural gas tariff which took effect on July 15, 2019, and higher volume of gas sold in the current quarter,” the group said.

For the year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19), Gas Malaysia’s net profit expanded 5.4% to RM190.11 million from RM180.39 million the year prior, mainly attributed to a higher share of results in JVCos.

This was partially offset by higher finance cost and administrative expenses during the financial year in focus.

Full-year revenue was 10.6% higher at RM6.89 billion compared to RM6.23 billion in the same period the year before, due to the higher natural gas tariff and higher volume of natural gas sold.

The company declared a second interim dividend of 4.8 sen per share, amounting to a dividend payout of RM61.63 million, due payable on March 31, 2020.

On future prospects, the group said the growth in revenue for FY19 compared to the previous corresponding year was primarily driven by the increase in the volume of natural gas sold and the revision in natural gas tariff.

“The board anticipates that the yearly increase in natural gas sale volume and number of customers will sustain (the group) for FY20.

“The profitability of the group for FY20 is expected to be in tandem with the level reflecting the prevailing tariff-setting mechanism framework,” it said.

Shares of Gas Malaysia closed unchanged yesterday at RM2.82, valuing the company at RM3.62 billion.