Boustead 4Q earnings surge on lower operating costs, declares 3.5 sen dividend

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): Boustead Holdings Bhd said its net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016 (4QFY2016) swelled by 28 times to RM120.7 million or 5.95 sen per share, from RM4.2 million or 0.26 sen per share a year ago, due mainly to a reduction in operating costs.

Operating costs fell 7.58% to RM2.25 billion from RM2.43 billion in 4QFY2015, resulting in stronger profitability despite a marginal 0.82% drop in revenue to RM2.42 billion from RM2.44 billion.

The diversified group declared a fourth interim dividend of 3.5 sen per share, payable on March 28. This brings the total payout for FY2016 to 17.5 sen.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Boustead said full year (FY2016) net profit saw a 28-fold rise to RM369 million from RM13.2 million in FY2015. Earnings per share shot up to 20.03 sen from 0.8 sen.

Revenue, however, was down 3.36% to RM8.37 billion from RM8.66 billion.

Moving forward, Boustead said it expects FY2017 to be another challenging year, both globally and domestically, due mainly to uncertainties surrounding global economy, contagious effect of Brexit in the European market, future changes in US policies and other geopolitical risks.

“On the domestic front, the economy is expected to expand between 4% and 5%, notwithstanding the depreciation of ringgit and volatile commodity prices, which may impede growth.

“The diversified nature of the group’s business in six segments of Malaysian economy would augur well for the group,” it added.

In a related statement, Boustead deputy chairman and managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said the group’s strong foundation will enable it to remain resilient and deliver “commendable earnings” in the face of the challenging economic climate.

“Although the tough economic landscape is set to persist in the year ahead, we are optimistic that we will be able to deliver sustained earnings,” he said.

“We are focused on reinforcing our strong fundamentals and capitalising on key growth drivers within the group’s six core businesses, while tapping into viable opportunities for growth moving forward,” he added.

Boustead’s share price was up one sen or 0.35% at RM2.83 at 3.32pm, giving it a market capitalisation of RM5.7 billion. — theedgemarkets.com

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from TheEdgeProperty.com http://www.theedgeproperty.com.my/content/1079392/boustead-4q-earnings-surge-lower-operating-costs-declares-35-sen-dividend

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