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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sime Darby net profit jumps to RM1b in Q2

Revenue surged to RM11.3 billion from RM9.9 billion in the comparable period before riding on good yield of its palm oil trees, higher automotive sales and booming property sales.

KUALA LUMPUR:SIME Darby Bhd made a net profit of RM1.1 billion in the second quarter ended December, a 25.5 per cent increase compared with RM877.0 million in the comparable quarter a year ago.

But the country's oldest conglomerate warned of challenging times in the remaining six months of the year.

The diversified group saw good performance in all of its six business divisions spearheaded by strong crude palm oil (CPO) prices, encouraging property and automotive sales as well as good sales at its industrial and healthcare divisions.

Sime Darby's six business divisions are plantations, property, energy, automotive, healthcare and industrial and others.

Sime Darby president and group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh said the group had a commendable first half with all six divisions achieving double-digit earnings growth due to its continuous emphasis on enhancing earnings quality.

"But the third quarter is usually challenging due to the shorter month of February, lower yield of fresh fruit bunches and the unpredictable external environment such as the debt problem in Europe.

"We are bracing ourselves for lower contributions and not overly optimistic but hope things will fan out nicely over the next few months," Mohd Bakke told reporters here yesterday after unveiling the group's second quarter results.

However, he is confident that the group will be able to hit a pre-tax profit of RM3.3 billion, one of its 2012 key performance indicators.

In the first six months of the year, higher realised CPO prices and operational efficiency improvements boosted the plantation division's operating profit by 38 per cent to RM1.8 billion.

The industrial unit continued to thrive on the back of robust activity in mining, logging and construction sectors in Australia and Malaysia to post an operating profit of RM628 million, a rise of 38 per cent.

The property division showed a significant increase of 46 per cent in its operating profit to RM193 million in the first half of this year compared to the same half last year.

Meanwhile, the energy and utilities division operating profit grew by 127 per cent in the first half of the year under review due to the recognition of deferred revenue of RM99 million from the local power plant.

The healthcare division posted a higher operating profit of RM14 million, a 7 per cent rise compared with the same period a year ago underpinned by the higher inpatient and outpatient visits offsetting the higher costs incurred by Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara, which had a soft launch in January this year.

By Business Times

Mah Sing units buy Gombak land for RM41m

PETALING JAYA: Two Mah Sing Group Bhd subsidiaries are buying two parcels of adjacent land in Bandar Kundang in Gombak, Selangor for a total RM40.94mil, or RM6 per sq ft.

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, Mah Sing said its unit, Major Land Development Sdn Bhd, was buying 79 acres from Vibrant Domain Sdn Bhd for RM20.60mil, while another subsidiary, Elite Park Development Sdn Bhd, was acquiring 78 acres from Topaz Best Sdn Bhd for RM20.34mil. Both are cash transactions.

Mah Sing plans to develop the land into a self-contained, secured lifestyle township, named M Residence 2@Rawang, with a gross development value of around RM650mil. The development, comprising mainly linked semi-detached homes, is positioned to complement and leverage on the success of the group's 226-acre township development, called M Residence@Rawang, located just 1km from the new planned project.

“As the proposed development plan is subject to the authorities' approval, it is too preliminary at this stage to ascertain the total development cost and expected profit to be derived from the development,” the statement said. Mah Sing said it planned to fund the acquisition and the development cost of the land through internal funds and/or bank borrowings. The company said the acquisition was not expected to have a material impact on the net assets per share and earnings of the group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2012, as the development was expected to commence in the second half of 2012.

The project would be developed over three to four years. The development of the land is expected to enhance the future earnings of the group.

By The Star

Hua Yang to expand landbank

JOHOR BARU: Property developer Hua Yang Bhd is actively looking for land in Iskandar Malaysia as part of its long-term plan to further strengthen its presence in south Johor.

Johor branch manager Soo Kim Hiang said the country's first economic growth corridor offered good prospect for property development.

Speaking at a briefing on the company's projects in Iskandar, he said the Johor Baru property market showed similar growth patterns to that of Kuala Lumpur 10 to 15 years ago and the market here was more owner-occupiers than speculators.

Soo said Iskandar, which received strong Federal Government backing and has concrete plans, would be a driving factor to push up demand for properties in south Johor.

He said Hua Yang's immediate plan was to acquire a piece of land in Johor Baru city centre as the area would undergo a multi-billion-ringgit transformation this year.

“We understand that some strategically located land in the city centre will be sub-divided and up for sale for high-density development,'' Soo said.

He said the company was also interested in buying land in Nusajaya as there were no restrictions on property ownership by foreigners there.

Hua Yang currently has one ongoing project, Taman Pulai Indah, which is a mixed development of 4,942 residential and commercial units on a 193.03ha site.

About 134.35ha have been developed so far and it would take three to four years to fully develop the remaining area with a gross development value (GDV) of RM818mil.

“We have two new projects coming up this year in south Johor and one next year,'' Soo said.

He said the company would launch Taman Pulai Hijauan next month, comprising 1,400 double-storey, terrace, cluster and semi-detached houses. The project has a GDV of RM380mil.

Soo said it would also launch Polo Park Residential, consisting of 28 units of 2-storey semi-detached houses and three bungalows with a GDV of RM40mil, in September.

Hua Yang's residential apartments at Jalan Abdul Samad near Thistle Hotel and Hospital Sultanah Aminah with a GDV of RM130mil in Johor Baru would be launched in the last quarter of 2013, he added.

By The Star

Knusford unit to buy Kajang land

KUALA LUMPUR: Knusford Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Lakaran Cahaya Sdn Bhd, will acquire 5.39ha of freehold land in Semenyih for RM14.21mil from Idealpalm Ventures Sdn Bhd.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, it said the land was located adjacent to the group’s current property development, Kajang Perdana, in Kajang.

The acquisition will be funded by internally-generated funds and/or bank borrowings.

By Bernama