Wednesday, February 27th, 2019


Craft industry records sales of RM506.5m last year, says Mohamaddin

SEMENYIH, Feb 27 — A total of 5,572 entrepreneurs registered with the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation and managed to record sales of RM506.5 million last year, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi. He said a…

Italian yields rise on weak data, bond sale, EU criticism

LONDON, Feb 27 — Italian government bonds led a rise in peripheral yields today, pushed higher by disappointing economic data, a debt auction and criticism from the European Commission over the state of Italy's economy. After an initial dip in…

Investor Cerberus open to Deutsche Bank merger with Commerzbank, says source

FRANKFURT, Feb 27 — US investor Cerberus, a major shareholder in both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, is open to a merger between Germany's two biggest lenders, a person familiar with the matter said today, raising the chances of a tie-up….

EU needs financial police, money-laundering watchdog, say lawmakers

BRUSSELS, Feb 27 —The European Union should set up a police force to investigate tax evasion and financial crime and create a watchdog to counter money-laundering, EU lawmakers said in a report today, which accuses seven member states of acting as…

Sime Darby Property slips into loss but achieves sales target

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Sime Darby Property Bhd fell into a net loss of RM318.70 million for six-month financial period ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), from a net profit of RM559.77 million recorded in 2017. The company, which has changed its financial…

IHH Healthcare’s net profit surges fivefold in Q4

PETALING JAYA: IHH Healthcare Bhd’s net profit jumped over five times to RM509.42 million for the fourth quarter ended December 2018 against RM101.26 million in the previous corresponding period, buoyed by stronger operational performance and forex gains from Turkey-based subsidiary Acibadem Holdings’ non-lira loans.

Its revenue expanded 9.7% to RM3.17 billion from RM2.89 billion.

The group has proposed to declare a first and final dividend of 3 sen per share for the quarter under review, which represents a dividend payout ratio of 46%.

However, IHH’s full-year net profit contracted 35.3% to RM627.69 million from RM969.95 million due to the high base effect in 2017 arising from a one-off gain on disposal of Apollo Hospital stake.

Full-year revenue rose 3.4% to RM11.52 billion from RM11.14 billion.

IHH told Bursa Malaysia that ecluding the effect of the strengthening of the ringgit, Parkway Pantai and Acibadem’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation andd amortisation (ebitda) grew 15% and 38%, respectively.

The group said it continues to believe in the sustained demand for quality private healthcare in its home and growth markets and will adopt a multi-country portfolio strategy to diversify its earnings base in cashflow-generative markets such as Singapore and Malaysia, medium-term growth momentum from Turkey and long-term growth opportunities from India and the Greater China.

IHH noted that it will increasingly leverage technology to increase the productivity and service offerings, including adopting more advanced medical treatments and to improve clinical outcomes.

“IHH will also focus on ramping up its existing operations and integrating Fortis in the near to medium term. As part of its overall long-term strategy, the group will look to power earnings growth across all the markets where it operates.”

Singtel, Axiata Digital collaborates to grow cross-border payments

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Singapore-communications group, Singtel Group and Axiata Digital, has signed a memorandum of understanding (mou) to collaborate in mobile financial and digital services that will support Asean’s efforts to grow the digital…

Impairment weighs on YTL’s Q2 results

PETALING JAYA: YTL Corp Bhd saw a 64.8% slump in net profit to RM44.82 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 against RM127.45 million in the same quarter a year ago, primarily due to the recognition of an allowance of receivable impairment following a court decision on an outstanding litigation in the multi utilities business.

Its revenue, however, was up 17% to RM4.55 billion from RM3.89 billion.

YTL’s first-half net profit fell 36.6% to RM170.61 million from RM269.31 million. This was on the back of a 10.6% rise in revenue to RM8.64 billion from RM7.81 billion.

The group recorded lower earnings for the cement, utilities and property development & investment divisions, but it saw better performance in the construction, IT & e-commerce and hotel segments.

Looking ahead, YTL said the outlook for the cement industry to remain highly competitive, while the construction business is expected to achieve satisfactory performance as its construction contracts relate mainly to the group’s property development and infra-structure works.

The group remains optimistic about the property investment & development business and will continue to embark on marketing efforts and initiatives to unlock sales.

Commenting on the utilities segment, YTL said despite the competitive electricity market in Singapore, it will continue to focus on customer service and diversification beyond the core business into integrated multi-utilities supply.

“As for water & sewerage division, Wessex Water, which operates under a strict regulatory regime, is confident of delivering its 2015-20 regulatory outperformance target while continuing to provide customers with first-class affordable service.”

AirAsia’s fourth quarter loss due to higher fuel, operating lease expenses

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group Bhd suffered a net loss of RM394.97 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 compared with a net profit of RM372.65 million a year ago due to higher fuel and operating lease expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the group said the increase in operating lease expenses was a result of the completion of the sales and leaseback transactions whereby the previously owned aircraft were sold and leased back as operating leases.

During the quarter, the average fuel price rose 33% to US$92 (RM344) per barrel from US$69 per barrel a year ago while fuel consumed was 12% higher than a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 6.2% to RM2.82 billion from RM2.66 billion a year ago driven by a 16% increase in total passengers carried during the quarter.

However, load factor fell from 88% to 84% as the increase in passengers carried was lower than the increase in capacity of 21%. Overall unit passenger revenue fell 6% from RM231 to RM218.

The group declared a second interim dividend of 12 sen per share for FY18 amounting to RM401.04 million.

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018, AirAsia’s net profit rose 21.6% to RM1.98 billion from RM1.63 billion a year ago due to remeasurement gains of RM534.7 million and net gain on disposal of an associate of RM170.9 million.

Revenue for the year rose 9.2% to RM10.60 billion from RM9.71 billion a year ago as total passengers carried grew by 14%. Load factor fell from 88% to 85% as the growth in total passengers carried was lower than the capacity growth of 18%. Overall unit passenger revenue fell 3% from RM225 to RM218.

For 2019, AirAsia is positive that the overall results will be better than last year’s results. The group said it will continue to grow its market share for each of the countries this year.

“Malaysia will continue to be the market leader with 58% market share and the target load factor of 87%. The group expects to turn around the Philippines by focusing on the North Asia-Philippines leisure market with target load factor at 90%,” it said.

In Indonesia, the group will expand its routes to serve new and underserved leisure destinations with target load factor at 84% while the recovery in the arrival of Chinese and Indian tourists in Thailand is expected to deliver high load factor at 90%, driven by the no-fee visa-on-arrival scheme.

AirAsia said demand remains strong and the group is number one in terms of market share in Asean.

UMW returns to the black with net profit of RM341.65m

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — UMW Holdings Bhd returned to the black with a net profit of RM341.65 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 from a net loss of RM640.61 million registered in the same period one year ago. Revenue, however,…