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Saturday, February 23, 2008

YTL Corp Q2 net jumps 24pc

YTL Corp Bhd has reported a 24 per cent increase in net profit for the second quarter ended December 2007 as the performance of its utilities, cement manufacturing and trading and property businesses improved.

YTL Corp posted RM328.47 million net profit in the second quarter on a seven per cent increase in revenue to RM1.52 billion. Six-month net profit and revenue stood at RM688.4 million and RM3.09 billion respectively.

"The utilities division posted solid profit growth of 8.5 per cent and the cement division has made significant strides in implementing our regional expansion strategy, completing the acquisition of Zhejiang Lin'an Jin Yuan Cement Co Ltd in China during the quarter under review," YTL Group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said in a statement released yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.

Zhejiang is the largest cement manufacturer in Lin'an and one of the top five cement suppliers in the Hangzhou market.

"The group's focus on international investment opportunities, correlated with our core competencies, continues to enable us to diversify our revenue base while concurrently mitigating geographical and single-industry risks," he added.

Yeoh said the group expects ongoing improvements in technical efficiency to help ease the impact of rising costs as the year progresses.

The biggest contributor to the group was its power division.

YTL Power International's net profit grew 10.5 per cent to RM245.54 million in the second quarter compared with the previous corresponding quarter.

The improved performance was due to higher contributions from the group's subsidiary, Wessex Water Ltd, power stations in Paka and Pasir Gudang, and PT Jawa Power - its 35 per cent-owned associate in Indonesia, which owns a 1,220-megawatt power station in East Java.

YTL Cement Bhd's second quarter net profit rose 35 per cent to RM48.12 million, due mainly to higher demand for cement from the construction industry, improved operational efficiencies and better prices.

YTL Land & Development Bhd's net profit in the second quarter, meanwhile, almost doubled to RM5.63 million from a year ago, contributed mainly by new phases under development, including "The Centrio" at Pantai Hillpark and "The Saffron" in Sentul.

YTL E-Solutions Bhd's six-month net profit, however, dropped 7.5 per cent to RM2.31 million because of higher operating expenses.

YTL Corp has declared an interim gross dividend of 15 per cent, YTL Power an interim tax-exempt dividend of 7.5 per cent, and YTL Cement an interim gross dividend of 20 per cent for the period.

By New Straits Times

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