Affin, HLIB, Malaysia Smelting Corp, Crescendo, BJLand, Greatech, CelcomDigi, Marco, Tasco, MGRC

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): Here is a brief recap of some corporate announcements that made the news on Friday, involving: Affin Bank Bhd, Tasco Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd, Marco Holdings Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd, Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd, CelcomDigi Bhd and Crescendo Corp Bhd.

Affin Bank Bhd posted a net profit of RM100.45 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3QFY2023), compared with RM872.37 million a year ago. The big earnings contraction was mainly because the previous year had recorded a one-off gain of RM1.06 billion from the divestment of its asset management business. It is worth noting that the hefty divestment gain lifted the banking group from a net loss from continuing operations amounting RM193.5 million to a net profit of RM872.37 million in 3QFY2022. The group’s net loss at the time was weighed down by allowances for credit impairment losses of RM233.54 million. The allowances for credit losses were much lower in 3QFY2023, at RM26.42 million. Nonetheless, the banking group pointed out in its latest quarter result release that its earnings were impacted by net interest margin compression due to elevated cost of funds. Interest expenses climbed 83% or RM231.6 million to RM510.3 million from RM278.7 million in 3QFY2022. Consequently, its net interest income shrunk to RM169.4 million from RM266.48 million a year ago.

Hong Leong Industries Bhd saw its net profit for the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (1QFY2024) rise 7.07% to RM87.67 million from RM81.88 million in the same period last year (1QFY2023).The improvement in bottom line was driven by a favourable sales mix of higher margin motorcycle models, according to the company, whose subsidiaries are involved in manufacturing, assembly and sales of motorcycles and scooters, the production and sales of ceramic tiles and cement fibreboard, and the distribution and trading of marine-related products. Its quarterly revenue fell 5.49% to RM835.88 million from RM884.45 million, mainly due to lower sales of motorcycles on weaker demand and credit tightening in motorcycle financing. It declared a single interim dividend of 20 sen per share, to be paid on Dec 21.

Tin miner and metal producer Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd swung back to the black in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3QFY2023), with a net profit of RM11.82 million compared with a net loss of RM31.32 million a year earlier. This was mainly due to higher average tin price of RM123,800 per tonne in the current quarter versus RM104,700 per tonne in 3Q2022 and higher sales quantity of refined tin. There was also a one-off provision for legal case settlement of RM4.7 million in the current quarter. Revenue for 3QFY2023 rose 5.8% to RM364.02 million from RM344.13 million a year earlier.

Crescendo Corp Bhd has announced its third land disposal in Pulai, Johor Bahru — this time involving three vacant pieces of land measuring 2.62 million sq ft for RM315.17 million, cash. The buyer is Microsoft Payments (M) Sdn Bhd. Crescendo had earlier this month announced the disposal of two parcels of land for RM117.02 million, and another nine parcels for RM111 million — both near the vicinity of the latest proposed land for sale. Gross proceeds from all three transactions totalled RM543.19 million, compared with the RM69.4 million that Crescendo spent to acquire, finance and develop the plots.

Berjaya Construction Bhd, the construction arm of Berjaya Land Bhd, has secured a US$50 million (RM234.2 million) construction loan from Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd for the construction of the Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa (Four Seasons Okinawa) in Japan. Leading the signing was Seikou Okinawa Construction KK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berjaya Construction, acting as the primary contractor in collaboration with Japanese subcontractors.

Greatech Technology Bhd’s third quarter net profit rose 13.9% to RM46.66 million, from RM40.97 million a year earlier, with the increase attributed to the higher revenue recognised from the production line system of e-mobility, life science and solar industries. The group, which manufactures equipment that are used to automate processes in production lines, said revenue for the quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3QFY2023) jumped 43.33% to RM224.82 million from RM156.85 million previously. Despite the higher earnings, its profit before tax (PBT) margin decreased to 22.29% from 26.29%, while normalised PBT margin without the net warranty impact reduced to 22.92% from 26.05%.

CelcomDigi Bhd’s net profit rose 32.66% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in the quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3QFY2023) to RM455.72 million, from RM343.52 million in 2QFY2023, helped by lower regulatory and network related costs and lower marketing spend. The improved q-o-q performance was despite a marginal 0.61% decline in revenue to RM3.1 billion from RM3.12 billion, on softer device sales and lower postpaid revenue, while prepaid and home and fibre revenues improved due to increased subscribers and data adoption. The group added 123,000 subscribers in the quarter, expanding its base to 20.6 million, it said. It declared a third interim dividend of 3.3 sen per share, bringing total dividends for the financial year so far to 9.7 sen per share, compared with 9.1 sen for the same period last year.

Marco Holdings Bhd is acquiring the remaining 59.61% stake in watches and clock retailer Time Galerie (M) Sdn Bhd for RM37.55 million cash from Giro Laksana Sdn Bhd and Lim Siew Sooi. The electronic products trading group bought its first 40.39% stake in Time Galerie back in December 2018, for a cash consideration of RM26.66 million. Time Galerie has 56 retail outlets located in major shopping complexes and retail stores in the country, Marco said. Marco is acquiring a 4.96% stake from Lim, with the balance 54.65% from Giro Laksana, which is owned by Lai Yin Chun and Lim Meng Hang.

Tasco Bhd’s net profit in the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (2QFY2024) dropped 34.34% to RM15.85 million from RM24.13 million, largely due to the normalisation of freight rates. The logistics solutions provider said its quarterly revenue fell by 44.60% to RM273.63 million, compared to RM493.95 million, underpinned by lower revenue contribution from its international business segments.

Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Bhd announced losses of RM617,754 from the buy-back and disposal of company shares, as well as trading of shares in listed companies SNS Network Technology Bhd and Reneuco Bhd in the seven months from Sept 2022 till March 2023. MGRC said it acquired 53.17 million of its shares from Sept 5, 2022 till March 20, 2023 in the open market for RM39.873 million — or an average of 75 sen per share. Within that same period, it disposed of the shares for RM39.303 million or average of 73.92 sen per share. This resulted in a gross loss of RM570,299, it said.