A 10% toll hike earlier in January last year and a 2.3% increase in traffic growth boosted its revenue by 36% to RM1.7bil in the financial year ended December 2002.
Beginning this year, PLUS is expected to declare a dividend payout ratio of 40% to 60% of its net profit, which represents a gross dividend yield of some 3% to 4.4%.
The company derives 75% of its revenue from the cigarette packaging products printing business and BAT is its major client. It was one of the top 20 KLSE second board performers last year in terms of percentage gain.
It has also begun talks with Koperasi Angkatan Tentera (KAT) to integrate the insurance business of its wholly owned unit, The Pacific Insurance Bhd, with KAT-owned Malaysia & Nippon Insurans Bhd.
PacificMas has also gone into venture capital, investing in a biotechnology firm Spring Hill Bioventures Sdn Bhd, together with its partners, Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
The company and counter are languishing and the downgrade by Rating Agency Malaysia of its 2002/2007, RM120mil debt papers to non-investment grade quality puts it in a further dilemma.
At this stage, most expect a rescue – if any – is likely to be by the government.
The better performance was due to the higher demand for communications technology such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and telephony services.
The company was also active in acquiring IT firm, YTL Info Screen Sdn Bhd, a news, information and advertising content producer, which uses cutting-edge digital technology such as plasma and liquid crystal display screens.