Boustead optimistic of returning to the black in current financial year

PETALING JAYA: Boustead Holdings Bhd expects to return to profitability in current ending Dec 31 (FY19).

The group plunged into the red with a net loss of RM469.2 million in FY18 in light of the losses incurred by its heavy industries and plantation divisions, while other divisions registered moderate earnings as a result of trying economic conditions.

Executive director Datuk Seri Ghazali Mohd Ali said “the ingredients for success are there” and it is a matter of discussing and strategising it before year-end.

“Our assets are there, our plans are there, manpower is there. Those three ingredients alone will bring success and a fresh outlook for the new group managing director (MD) will help the organisation in achieving its targets,” he told a press conference after the group’s AGM today.

He declined to reveal the “plans”, citing pending discussions with the new MD Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin, who will begin his new role on May 6.

“We’ll be discussing with him (Amrin) and the board before we go ahead and implement. Rest assured that the management and the board is working at turning the company around from the results of this year,” said Ghazali.

He commended Amrin for his experience and track record, especially in property development, as well as his strong finance background, adding that the group has the framework ready for somebody to take over and lead the group forward.

He emphasised that Boustead is asset-rich and from the perspective of businesses, the group is in a strong position with clear prospects ahead.

“We firmly believe that as long as we remain persistent in strengthening the foundation of our businesses, and tapping opportunities for growth, we will see results in the medium to long term future. What got us here will not get us there. We have to reinvent ourselves in certain areas, we have to look at ourselves and work at our strengths,” said Ghazali.

Meanwhile, he said there will be one or two more asset disposals this year to pare down its borrowings. Its gearing ratio stands at 0.9 times, which is deemed comfortable for the group.

On the disposal of its Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang , he said the government (Economic Planning Unit) is doing the valuation for the and the group expects to obtain the outcome in a month.

Earlier at the AGM, three resolutions were not passed by the shareholders, including the re-election of Datuk Wira Dr Megat Abdul Rahman Megat Ahmad as director, retention of chairman Gen Tan Sri Panglima Mohd Ghazali Che Mat (R) as independent director and the retention of Abdul Rahman as independent director.

Source: The Sun Daily

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