financial year


Etiqa posts double-digit revenue growth in FY18 but profit falls

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Etiqa Group Insurance and Takaful achieved a double-digit gross premium growth of 17 per cent to RM7.2 billion for the financial year (FY) ended December 31, 2018, although its profit before tax (PBT) was lower at RM825…

Bumi Armada eases on refinancing announcement

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Bumi Armada, which had successfully refinance its unsecured term loans of US$380 million and revolving credit facilities of US$280 million into a single facility, emerged as the most actively-traded stock this morning….

Boustead optimistic of returning to the black in current financial year

PETALING JAYA: Boustead Holdings Bhd expects to return to profitability in current financial year 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 Hotel, he said the government (Economic Planning Unit) is doing the valuation for the hotel 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.

Gadang posts RM13.3m net profit for Q3

PETALING JAYA: Gadang Holdings Bhd reported a net profit of RM13.3 million for the third quarter ended Feb 28, a 47.1% decline compared with RM25.14 million recorded for the corresponding quarter in 2018.

The construction firm attributed the reduction in earnings to recognition of some variation orders for completed construction projects in the previous year along with lower profit recorded for the Capital City project in the current year.

For the quarter under review, its revenue rose 34.5% to RM205.33 million compared with RM152.68 million in the corresponding quarter of the preceding year.

Its nine-month net profit increased 34.8% to RM46.87 million from RM71.85 million, while revenue grew 22% to RM502.99 million from RM412.29 million.

According to Gadang’s filing with Bursa Malaysia, its construction division outstanding order book currently stands at RM1.3 billion that will provide the company with a stable income visibility going forward.

However, the overall weakness in the property market has affected its sales and impacted the performance of its property division.

“The division has introduced more aggressive marketing efforts to promote sales of its existing on-going and completed projects. With unbilled sales of RM93.1 million and planned new launches, the property division is expected to deliver positive performance in this financial year.”

Looking ahead, Gadang foresees a challenging period for the group, taking into account the competitive market landscape and has initiated active tender participation for domestic infrastructure projects.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, the group expects to remain profitable in the current financial year.”

Iris takes director, ex-directors to court

PETALING JAYA: Iris Corp Bhd has commenced legal proceedings in the Kuala Lumpur High Court against its former members and an existing member of the board of directors, in relation to its investment in Border Control Solutions Limited (BCS). The company is seeking a total claim sum of at least RM12.2 million.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said that the action was brought for loss suffered from the defendants’ failure to discharge their respective fiduciary duty, duty of fidelity and/or duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence as directors at that material time.

The nine defendants comprise former directors namely Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Datuk Tan Say Jim, Tuanku Datuk Seri Shahbuddin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, Datuk Hamdan Mohd Hassan, Datuk Eow Kwan Hoong, Syed Abdullah Syed Abd Kadir, Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid and Datuk Nik Azman Mohd Zain, as well as current director Chan Feoi Chun.

Iris is seeking reliefs amounting to RM11.72 million being the total amount paid by the company for the subscription of BCS’s shares and RM482,172 being the total amount paid by the company to Joseph Vijay Kumar as consultant fees.

It is also seeking pre-judgment interest on the sums awarded comprising 5% interest per annum on RM11.72 million from Aug 24, 2016 until the date of full settlement, and 5% interest per annum on RM482,172 from Oct 10, 2016 until the date of full settlement.

Other reliefs sought include post-judgment interest on the sums awarded on the above at 5% interest per annum from the date of judgment until the date of full and final realisation; general damages to be assessed; interest on the general damages awarded; costs; and/or reliefs deemed fit and just by the court.

Apart from legal costs, the litigation is not expected to have material financial impact to the company as the first two reliefs have been fully impaired/expense of in the previous financial year.

Iris’ share price fell 5.41% to close at 17.5 sen today with 39.81 million shares traded. It was one of the top active stocks on the bourse today.

Kerjaya Prospek bags RM438m related-party job

PETALING JAYA: Construction outfit Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd has accepted a RM438.8 million contract through its wholly owned subsidiary Kerjaya Prospek (M) Sdn Bhd, from Kerjaya Prospek Property Sdn Bhd in a related-party deal.

This is Kerjaya’s third contract in 2019, bringing Kerjaya’s year-to-date contract wins to RM873 million. Currently it has an outstanding order book of RM3.5 billion.

In a stock exchange filing, the group said the award involves the undertaking of main building works for a proposed project at Jalan Puchong, Kuala Lumpur. Scheduled to start on May 2, the construction works of the project is targeted for completion by Nov 1, 2022, a period of 42 months.

The proposed project comprises three blocks, of which Block 1 houses 25 storeys of offices and the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel. Block 2 and Block 3 will each be accommodating 53 storeys of service apartments. These three blocks, to be built on top of a 11-storey podium, will form part of Bloomsvale Residences, a 68-storey mixed development.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to Kerjaya’s earnings and net assets per share for the financial years ending 2019 to 2022.

CIMB allocates extra RM400m for IT, bank operations in FY19

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — CIMB Bank Bhd says it will be more aggressive in investing in information and technology (IT) and bank operations in the 2019 financial year (FY19), allocating an additional RM400 million on top of its…

Ireka takes UEM Land to arbitration, seeks RM29 million

PETALING JAYA: Ireka Corp Bhd has served a notice of arbitration against UEM Sunrise Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary UEM Land Bhd on disputes and differences arising from the contract finalisation of a project in Johor Baru.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Ireka said the notice was served by its wholly owned subsidiary Ireka Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd (IECSB) on Wednesday, under The Asian International Arbitration Centre Rules 2018.

IECSB is seeking reliefs and/or remedies against UEM Land, which include but are not limited to, inter alia, declarations of final account in the amount of RM29.25 million, further extension of time or time at large, loss and expense awards, interest and costs.

IECSB’s claims against UEM Land are premised on the breach of contract and outstanding payment due in relation to the contract.

In a separate filing, UEM Sunrise said IECSB’s claims are without merits and UEM Land will vigorously defend its position accordingly.

“The company believes that the notice of arbitration and potential arbitration proceedings are not expected to have material financial and operational impact on the company for the financial year ending Dec 31,” it said.

To recap, UEM Land issued a letter of award dated June 15, 2012 to IECSB for the construction of Imperia, a mixed development located in Puteri Harbour, Iskandar Puteri, Johor Baru.

IECSB was appointed by UEM Land as the main contractor for the construction of the project under the contract, at a sum of RM268.6 million.

The scope of works include overall main works, main switch station (stesen suis utama) and main division substation (pencawang pembahagian utama), and construction of mock-up units.

In August last year, IECSB initiated a pre-commencement arbitration against UEM Land arising from disputes and differences over the finalisation for a contract dated April 3, 2014 on the construction of the project.

Seacera flags potential default on debts

PETALING JAYA: Tile manufacturer Seacera Group Bhd has warned that it is potentially headed towards a default on its payment obligations in the highly likely event that it will not be able to proceed with its settlement proposals in time.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said if it is unable to complete the proposals in a timely manner, it will be headed towards default, and possibly cross default on all its outstanding banking facilities and corporate guarantees of the banking facilities, on the payment obligations amounting to up to RM81 million.

In addition, the company will not be able to declare that it is solvent as the board will not be able to form an opinion that the company will be able to pay all its debts as and when they fall due.

In the event of a default in payment and inability to provide the solvency declaration, the company will trigger Practice Note 17 criteria and will face possible suspension and de-listing as an affected listed issuer.

Earlier on Jan 16, the group announced the proposed settlement of RM31.31 million owed by Seacera and two of its subsidiaries namely Seacera Ceramics Sdn Bhd and Seacera Properties Sdn Bhd to certain creditors. The amount was to be settled via the issuance of 149.09 million new shares at 21 sen per share.

The group had also proposed a private placement of up to 126.34 million new shares representing 30% of the existing issued share capital, to be subscribed by potential investors. The proposed exercise was expected to raise gross proceeds of about RM24.64 million, of which RM20 million was to be used to repay bank borrowings.

The settlement agreements were subject to the approval of Seacera shareholders to be obtained on or before April 15 (cut-off date), which was subsequently extended by 20 days to May 6.

The company was to convene an EGM on April 16. However, its largest shareholder Datuk Tan Wei Lian initiated legal action to stop the company from proceeding with the proposed resolutions. A writ and an application for injunction was served on the company and the EGM was adjourned to a later date.

Tan, who holds a 16% stake, withdrew a notice to convene an EGM to remove two directors last week due to a “technical” issue. However, he is planning for an EGM again on May 15 to remove eight directors and appoint six new directors.

Following the injunction, the company will be blocked from proceeding with the proposals, which are imminent for it to immediately address its current cash flow position. Without the proposals, settlement creditors, financial institutions and other creditors may initiate legal proceedings which may include winding up petitions against the group to recover their ascertained/agreed debts.

The group will also be unable to finance its working capital requirements for its tiles plant operations and/or other overhead expenses, and has decided to permanently shut down its only tiles plant operations in Selayang.

Seacera said the permanent shut down may result in the group not having adequate level of operations to warrant continued listing on the bourse as well as financial impairment of up to RM24 million, which may affect its financial results for the financial year ending Dec 31.

In view of the developments above, Seacera expects its share price to be negatively impacted.

The stock fell 1.47% to 33.5 sen with 28.6 million shares done, making it one of the most actively traded stocks prior to the suspension in the trading of its shares at 3.30pm today. Trading in its shares resume tomorrow.

Car sales up 9.6% in March: MAA

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s vehicle sales rose 9.58% to 54,776 units in March 2019 compared with 49,987 units in the same month a year ago, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

It said in a statement today that on a month-on-month basis, car sales surged 37% or 14,938 units, driven by longer working month and rush for deliveries by companies with financial year ending March 31.

MAA expects sales volume for April to maintain at March 2019 level, thanks to continuation of promotional campaigns by car companies. For the first three months of the year, a total of 143,064 units were sold, 5.89% higher than the 135,110 units recorded in the same period last year.