MMC’s 1Q profits get lift from port business

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE

MMC Corp Bhd’s earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21), rose 115.45% year-on-year (YoY) to RM124.7 million on improved performance at its logistics business and lower finance costs.

Earnings per share for the period was 4.1 sen as revenue climbed 5.23% YoY to RM1.14 billion due to higher volumes handled by its port operators, Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd and Northport (M) Bhd.

“These were offset by lower work progress on the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line, lower passenger and cargo volumes at Senai Airport, and lower volume handled at Penang Port Sdn Bhd,” MMC said in an exchange filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

MMC’s ports and logistics segment recorded RM903.6 million in revenue, an increase of 12.9% YoY, while its engineering segment made RM229.2 million, a decrease of 13.3% YoY.

MMC remains positive of the growth prospects of its business divisions in financial year 2021 (FY21) in line with the expected global and domestic economic recovery as its key business divisions will continue to play important roles in facilitating and enabling economic activity.

The group remains vigilant of the changes in the domestic market in response to the implementation of Movement Control Orders and the recent rising Covid-19 cases.

“The health and safety of our stakeholders remain our utmost priority. We will keep on strengthening our preventive measures and ensure minimal disruption to our business operation,” group MD Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh (picture) stated in a release yesterday.

MMC expects its ports and logistics division to maintain a strong momentum and will continue to optimise the utilisation of assets and resources coupled with the continuous introduction and adoption of stringent cost management measures.

“Over the short- to medium-term, the division will prioritise its investments and capital allocation in order to elevate and further strengthen the ports’ capacities and infrastructures and operational efficiencies,” it said.

The energy and utilities division remains a key component to the group and is expected to contribute steady earnings from its two main associated companies, namely Malakoff Corp Bhd and Gas Malaysia Bhd.

MMC’s engineering division remains active to secure new projects in anticipation of an economic recovery and Budget 2021 announcement which aims to revive the economy by increasing the development expenditure allocation by 38% compared to Budget 2020.

With better and timely preventive measures and broader coverage of vaccination, the group views the anticipated economic recovery is attainable.

“The group is committed to strengthening our financial and market positions by focusing on operational excellence and cost optimisation, while exploring new business opportunities. Overall, the group expects to sustain its financial and operational performance for FY21,” it added.