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.

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