October, 2019

 

BAT Q3 profit falls, declares 29 sen dividend

PETALING JAYA: British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) posted a 42% decline in its net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 to RM84.8 million from RM146.27 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

Revenue for the quarter fell 20.6% to RM584.34 million from RM735.53 million.

A third interim dividend of 29 sen per share was declared.

In a statement, BAT said the total legal industry volume dropped 11% compared to the same period last year, largely attributed to high levels of illegal cigarette trade and the impact from SST-led pricing.

The group added that the decline was compounded by the rapid growth of illegal vaping, putting further pressure on legal cigarette volumes.

BAT’s nine-month net profit contracted 29.8% to RM249.95 million from RM355.88 million in the preceding period, while revenue was 10% lower at RM1.85 billion from RM2.05 billion.

Looking ahead, the group said it was extremely concerned about the lack of progress on the reduction of illegal cigarette trade and the high level of affordability stretch on legal consumers in Malaysia.

“The current environment within the tobacco industry is one that is unsustainable and untenable for any legal company. While we continue in our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders, the results for this quarter was achieved on the back of conscious cost base and investment management,” BAT Malaysia managing director Erik Stoel in a statement.

The group also said it would continue to rationalise operating costs and work closely with the authorities on enhancing enforcement and setting up a comprehensive and sustainable total regulatory and fiscal framework.

“As we look to the remainder of 2019, we remain committed to adopting a multi-category approach with investment into new segments such as tobacco heated products.

“However, diversification and investment into these new categories can only be done on the basis of sensible and pragmatic total category regulation that allows legal companies to operate and set a tighter control restricting the entry of illegal cigarettes into the country. Otherwise, it is simply unsustainable,” said Stoel.


Mesiniaga bags RM261m MoF contract

PETALING JAYA: Mesiniaga Bhd has received a letter of award from the Finance Ministry worth RM261.26 million.

The group told Bursa Malaysia it is required to plan, design, supply, deliver, install, configure, test and commission, implement, monitor and maintain the infrastructure hardware and software of the integrated financial and accounting management system of the Federal Government and the support system at the new infrastructure of the Accountant General’s Department of Malaysia.

The group will also be responsible for the installation, migration testing and commissioning of the systems. The contract commences today and is expected to be completed on April 30, 2025.

“The supply and implementation period will take 10 months from Nov 1, 2019 to Aug 31, 2020, while the hardware warranty period will be from May 1, 2020 until April 30, 2025,” Mesiniaga said.


Cut-off date for highway deals extended again

PETALING JAYA: The cut-off date for the takeover of four toll con-cessionaires has been extended again for another two months.

MOF Inc and concession holding companies Kesas Holdings Bhd, Litrak Holdings, Sprint Holdings and Smart Holdings have mutually agreed to extend the cut-off date to negotiate and finalise the terms of the definitive agreement from Oct 31, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019 in relation to the government’s acquisition of high-ways.

This is the second time the negotiations have been extended.

In June, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) offered to acquire four toll concessionaires with an enterprise value of RM6.2 billion.

The four toll highways are the Damansara-Puchong Highway, Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (Sprint), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart), with offer prices of RM2.47 billion, RM1.98 billion, RM1.38 billion and RM369 million, respectively.

Gamuda Bhd owns 43.6% in Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak), Kesas (70%), Sprint (51.8%) and Smart (50%).

The long stop date to satisfy the conditions precedent will also be extended from Nov 29, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020; and the date of completion will be extended from Dec 31, 2019 to a date no later than March 31, 2020.


Saudi’s new tourism industry faces huge training challenge

RIYADH, Oct 31 — Saudi Arabia has opened its doors to tourists, but faces huge challenges to train an estimated one million staff needed to operate the sector, according to the head of one forthcoming mega-project. The ultra-conservative kingdom…


Bombardier to sell its aerostructures unit to Spirit AeroSystems

MONTREAL, Oct 31 — Canada’s Bombardier said today it had agreed to sell its aerostructures business to Spirit AeroSystems for more than US$700 million (RM2.9 billion) in cash and debt. Reuters broke the news on the sale earlier in the day citing…


Eurozone faces stagnation, as inflation falls again

BRUSSELS, Oct 31 — Economic growth in the eurozone remained at a weak 0.2 per cent in the third quarter and inflation fell in October, underlining the risk of stagnation in the 19-nation single-currency bloc. According to official Eurostat figures…


Pharmaniaga shares down on news that concession for MOH will end

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Pharmaniaga Bhd shares on Bursa Malaysia fell 36 sen to RM2.14 as at 2.53pm following the announcement that its concession to distribute drugs and medical supplies for the Health Ministry (MOH) will end. A total of 536,700…


Air France-KLM profits nosedive on strong dollar, A380 withdrawal

PARIS, Oct 31 — Net profits at French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM fell by more than half in the third quarter, hit by a stronger dollar and the withdrawal from service of the A380 super jumbo A380. Air travel this year has also been buffeted by…


Bursa rallies to six-week high, CI 1.14pc higher

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Bursa Malaysia ended October on a strong note with the key index rallying to a six-week high today, as investors cheered the interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, while supported by gains in Public Bank. At 5pm, the…


BA-owner IAG says quarterly profits hit by strikes

LONDON, Oct 31 — London-listed airline giant IAG admitted today that recent historic strikes by British Airways pilots had hurt its performance in the third quarter. Net profit sank nine per cent to €1 billion (RM4.7 billion) in the three months…