Berjaya Sports Toto optimistic of gradual recovery

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic credit:

BERJAYA Sports Toto Bhd (BToto) is cautiously optimistic that its business will gradually recover, given the fairly resilient nature of the number forecast operations (NFO) as seen in previous financial crises.

The company’s net profit was up by 1.3% year-on-year (YoY) to RM67.85 million for its first quarter ended Sept 30, 2020, on lower prize payouts and lower operating expenses incurred during the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter, however, declined by 6.3% YoY to RM1.35 billion on lower turnover by its principal subsidiary, Sports Toto Malaysia Sdn Bhd, according to an exchange filing yesterday.

The company stated that it is optimistic of a recovery and is confident it will continue to maintain its market share in the NFO business for the remaining quarters for the financial year ending June 30, 2021 (FY21).

On a year-to-date basis, its net profit was 1.3% higher at RM67.85 million against RM66.96 million registered in the corresponding period last year, despite a 6.3% YoY decline in revenue to RM1.35 billion.

The higher profit was partially attributed to its luxury auto retailing business HR Owen plc.

HR Owen registered a revenue growth of 10.8% YoY to RM667.2 million on higher sales generated from the new car sector, mainly due to backlog fulfilment after the earlier Covid-19 pandemic lockdown ended on May 31 in the UK.

The increase in revenue was also attributed to the favourable foreign-exchange effect in conversion into ringgit in the current quarter under review.

BToto stated that its main subsidiary companies were able to resume operations for this quarter, putting together health and safety practices amid the new norm.

It, however, expects the economy to recover at a slower pace as consumer sentiment and business environments have been affected by the lockdown measures undertaken in the countries where it operates.

BToto declared a first interim dividend of four sen per share for FY21, payable on Jan 19, 2021.

The dividend rate represents a payout rate of 79.2% of its earnings for the quarter.