Westports’ profit up 23.5% in FY21

The port operator says its one-off insurance recoveries boosted the company’s bottom line 

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic source: westportsholdings.com

WESTPORTS Holdings Bhd’s net profit increased 23.5% to RM808.22 million during the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021 (FY21) from the RM654.49 million recorded in the previous year. 

The port operator said its one-off insurance recoveries, due to the damaged Quay Cranes and wharf incident two years ago that amounted to RM73 million in 2021, boosted the company’s bottom line. 

“The recoveries of these investments written off previously artificially boosted the bottom line in 2021. 

“Excluding these items, the net profit should be approximately RM751 million instead. The increase in the bottom line between 2020 and 2021 is halved to RM82 million only,” it said in a statement yesterday. 

Westports’ revenue for the period increased 2.4% to RM2.02 billion from RM1.97 billion. 

The container segment contributed 88% to the operational revenue with a through-put volume of 10.40 million twenty-foot equivalent units. 

For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2021, the port operator’s net profit increased 36.3% to RM222.88 million from RM163.49 million, while revenue declined 6.9% to RM503.89 million from RM541.54 million. 

Westports announced that it has paid its first interim dividend amounting to RM290 million in August 2021. 

The second interim dividend of 9.28 sen per share, amounting to RM316 million, will be paid on Feb 24, 2022. 

On prospects for 2022, Westports is projecting a low single-digit positive container throughput for 2022. 

It said the forecast nevertheless entails a cautionary note that the pandemic is still evolving, and regulatory responses abroad could indirectly affect the company’s throughput recovery trajectory. 

Commenting on the results, Group MD Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam Abdullah said given the external economic conditions and supply chain challenges, the company achieved a good level of profitability. 

According to Ruben, Westports invested RM3.8 million towards the pandemic and corporate social responsibility (CSR)-related contributions. 

He said besides Covid-19, the sudden flood in December 2021 gave the company the privilege to extend its helping hand to the community. 

“We opened Dewan Budaya Tan Sri G Culture Hall and turned it into a temporary flood evacuation centre for the affected residents of Pulau Indah and staff. 

“We accommodated more than 200 people and provided food, bedding, furnishing and other necessities to many staff and residents of Pulau Indah,” he said. 

Ruben also highlighted that the December 2021 heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in certain areas within the Klang Valley, but there was no flooding within the terminal. 

He noted that all terminal operating equipment and essential facilities were unaffected. 

“However, we will remain vigilant and ensure that the terminal’s operations remain unaffected by the growing risk of unusual weather events brought on by climate change. 

“Addressing the increasing significance and response required by climate change and improving the company’s CSR focus and corporate governance, the Board Sustainability Committee was formed in January 2022,” he added. 

Westports share price closed one sen or 0.25% lower at RM3.92 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM13.37 billion.