by ASILA JALIL / pic by BLOOMBERG
POS Malaysia Bhd remains cautious about the outlook for the year due to rising Covid-19 cases in the country with new stronger variants that threaten the country’s economic recovery prospects.
The postal services provider’s parcel volume service increased 9% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21), recapturing lost grounds after the temporary closures of two of its main parcel processing centres towards the end of last year.
“This momentum is expected to continue, which should bring a positive impact towards courier volume in the coming months,” it said in a Bursa Malaysia filing on Tuesday.
Pos Malaysia has embarked on a rationalisation of the mail business infrastructure by closing its Segamat Mail Processing Centre (MPC) as part of its initiative to improve cost structure.
The Segamat MPC’s function is being consolidated at the National Mail Centre in Shah Alam, Selangor.
The group said several more MPCs are expected to be rationalised throughout the year to reduce costs.
Pos Malaysia narrowed its net loss to RM46.78 million in the 1Q, compared to RM49.22 million in 1Q20.
Higher revenue and contributions from its Ar-Rahnu (Islamic pawnbroking) and digital certificates businesses have improved its quarterly performance.
Revenue rose 6.5% year-on-year (YoY) to RM595.28 million in 1Q21 driven by its logistics segment.
The logistics segment registered a revenue of RM101.2 million in 1Q21, up 34.1% from RM75.48 million in the corresponding period last year, mainly contributed by freight management and automotive business.
The segment’s pretax profit rebounded to RM1.69 million from a pretax loss of RM4.88 million last year, as automotive, marine and freight management businesses recorded improved profitability compared to 1Q20.
Its postal segment’s revenue increased 8.8% to RM425.28 million from RM390.9 million in 1Q20, primarily contributed by the courier business following an 18% increase in parcel volume, mainly from contract customers.
The segment posted a slightly lower loss before tax of RM46.82 million in the period compared to RM49.86 million a year ago due to reduced manpower cost.
Aviation segment’s revenue dipped 31.2% YoY to RM43.19 million due to lower contributions from in-flight catering, cargo and ground handling businesses.
Other segments, mainly printing and insertion, digital certificates and Ar-Rahnu registered RM25.6 million in revenue for the quarter, down 12.86% YoY.
Ar-Rahnu’s higher revenue was offset by lower revenue from printing and insertion, as well as digital certificates businesses, Pos Malaysia exchange filing on Tuesday noted.
On May 11, the group announced its CEO Syed Md Najib Syed Md Noor stepping down effective June 1 after serving the company for close to three years.
Syed Najib was appointed in October 2018 when there was a major shift in consumer behaviour towards digital platforms as mail volume declines.
Under his stewardship, the group achieved many successes, including the integral postal tariff balancing, which was only the second tariff increase in 28 years.
Pos Malaysia shares closed one sen lower, or 1.22%, at 81 sen on Tuesday, valuing the company for RM634.05 million.