DRB-Hicom strengthens on higher Proton sales

The conglomerate’s automotive sector contributed RM7b revenue with the renewed popularity of Proton which sold 100,821 units last year

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

DRB-HICOM Bhd said the rise in sales of Proton cars enabled it to post a 273% year-on-year (YoY) jump in earnings to RM272.68 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019, as its automotive segment experienced a strong year.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was 14.1 sen compared to 3.78 sen in the same quarter last year.

The conglomerate’s quarterly revenue rose 10.5% YoY to RM3.5 billion during the October through December period compared to last year’s corresponding quarter.

For the full financial year ended Dec 31, 2019, DRB-Hicom’s net profit increased to RM359 million or 18.57 sen EPS from a net loss of RM5 million recorded for the corresponding period a year ago.

The group also posted a profit before tax of RM472.5 million, reversing a loss before tax of RM46.9 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the nine-month period increased 16.9% YoY to RM10.5 billion.

In 2019, DRB-Hicom announced a change of its financial year-end from March to December in an effort to be aligned with the national budgeting year.

DRB-Hicom’s automotive sector contributed RM7 billion revenue, a rise of RM1.8 billion YoY, in line with the renewed popularity of Proton which sold 100,821 units last year.

New launches of other brands like Audi, Honda and Mitsubishi also helped drive up revenue.

Its service sector’s revenue, however, slipped by RM161.5 million in the nine months to RM3.2 billion, the group said in an exchange filing last Friday.

“This revenue reflected lower contributions from Pos Malaysia Bhd and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd, and also took into account the de-consolidation of Alam Flora Sdn Bhd from the group in November 2019,” it said.

The waste management company was sold to Malakoff Corp Bhd last year.

DRB-Hicom’s revenue from the property segment was weaker following the completion and handover of the Immigrations, Customs, Quarantine and Security complex in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah. The sector contributed RM290.9 million in the period.

Against the backdrop of a challenging landscape in 2020, DRB-Hicom remains positive on its outlook.

“The group’s automotive sector will remain the largest contributor to revenue, and launches of new models by various marques in the group in 2020 should sustain the momentum,” it said.

Meanwhile, Pos Malaysia has implemented new tariff rates for commercial postage and international businesses.

“As part of its transformation agenda to improve service efficiency and customer experience, Pos Malaysia will continue to invest in digitalisation and e-commerce infrastructures to take advantage of the booming digital economy.

“This includes an upgraded track and trace system that is expected to be operational by mid-2020. These initiatives will help elevate the Pos Malaysia customer experience, and hence improve the company’s financial performance,” DRB-Hicom stated in its press release.

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