by NUR HANANI AZMAN
WEAKER product prices saw Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd’s net profit falling 9.5% to RM131.53 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (4Q19), compared to RM145.36 million reported in the same quarter for the previous year.
The largest aluminium smelter in South-East Asia recorded a revenue of RM2.13 billion in 4Q19 from RM2.23 billion in 4Q18 indicating a decrease of RM98.48 million or 4.4%, mainly due to the lower metal price during the current year quarter under review.
For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19), its net profit fell by 23.9% to RM471.03 million from RM618.93 million last year, while revenue fell 6.7% to RM8.56 billion from RM9.17 billion in FY18 due to the softening of metal price during the current year.
This resulted a lower earnings per share of 3.26 sen for 4Q19 compared to 3.68 sen for 4Q18.
“As a result of the lower metal price, profit before tax was reduced by RM237.76 million or 27.3% from
RM870.45 million (including an exceptional insurance claim amounting to RM60 million) in 2018 to RM632.7 million in 2019,” it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.
Press Metal declared a fourth interim single-tier dividend of 1.25 sen for the FY19, payable on March 30, 2020.
On FY20 prospects, Press Metal said the Covid-19 outbreak that has been ongoing since January is causing a temporary disruption to global economic activities and dampening aluminium prices.
There should be a recovery in prices if the situation improves.
“We plan to further expand our presence in South-East Asia as this region is poised to enjoy growth with strong inflows of foreign investment. Strengthening our foothold here is advantageous due to our close proximity and experience in this region.
“With additional capacity coming on stream and contributions from strategic investments, we expect improvements in our performance for this coming year,” it said.
Press Metal’s Phase 3 smelter is currently on schedule to meet targeted commissioning in 4Q20.
“This will increase our total capacity by up to 42% from 760,000 up to 1.01 million tonnes per annum.
“The progress of our investment in an alumina refinery in Bintan is moving as planned and we expect Phase 1 commissioning by end of 2020,” it said.
Press Metal shares closed down two sen or 0.41% at RM4.88 yesterday, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM19.71 billion.