News in brief


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 21 May 2003

STAR CRUISES LTD, an associate of the Genting group, sank into the red in the first quarter largely due to a surge in fuel costs and the luxury cruise operator cautioned that weak bookings due to SARS would continue to hit earnings in the next three months. 

The net loss came in at US$5.04mil for the three months ended in March, down sharply from a net profit of US$681,000 a year ago, the world's 4th-largest cruise liner said in a statement released after the market closed. 

Fuel costs were up about 50%-60% over the same period last year for the firm, which also owns Norwegian Cruise Line. 

However, its turnover rose almost 12% to US$412mil with stronger performances in all its markets, including Asia-Pacific, which has been hard hit by SARS. 

It added, however, that with the disease slowly coming under control in Hong Kong and Singapore, it expected to see a slow return to normality in these two core markets after the second quarter. - Reuters 

Pharmaniaga Bhd said pre-tax profit rose 32.8% to RM17.9mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2003, while revenue grew 9.8% to RM154mil compared with the corresponding period last year. 

Higher gross profit margin and cost containment had contributed to the significantly improved pre-tax profit during the period under review, it said. 

“Sales to government hospitals was higher by 32.8% compared with the previous corresponding quarter due to a shift by the public from private to government hospitals,'' Pharmaniaga said. 

CIMB BHD has reported a pre-tax profit of RM68.3mil for the first quarter to March 31 on strong performance in its debt and advisory businesses. 

In a statement, CIMB said the pre-tax profit was 36% of its full-year prospectus forecast of RM190mil. The group's turnover for the three-month period was RM112.1mil, with net profit at RM50.2mil and net earning per share at 5.9 sen. 

CIMB said its debt business recorded net income of RM80.5mil during the first quarter. 

“The bond markets saw record volume turnover of RM136bil and strong primary bond issuance levels.  

Duopharma Biotech Bhd's pre-tax profit in the first quarter ended March 31 stood at RM6.04mil and net profit at RM4.38mil. The revenue was at RM19.51mil. 

Duopharma has proposed a bonus issue of 10 million new shares on the basis of one bonus share for every five existing shares held on a date to be announced later. It has also proposed to transfer its listing to the KLSE main board. – Bernama 

Ranhill Utilities Bhd's pre-tax profit for the first quarter ended March 31 stood at RM30.61mil and net profit at RM21.37mil. Turnover was at RM98.04mil. – Bernama 

Mah Sing Group Bhd's subsidiary Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd's offer to acquire a 96.19ha land in Tebrau, Johor for RM68.02mil has been accepted by Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd. 

Mah Sing proposes to convert the property, which is now under the category for commercial use, into a mixed residential and commercial development. – Bernama 

KENMARK INDUSTRIAL CO (M) BHD has acquired a 100% interest in dormant company Infra Impresif Sdn Bhd for RM2. 

The intended principal activities of Infra are the procurement of raw materials and semi finished products and general trading, including marketing, repacking, labelling and distribution of finished products in the domestic and overseas market. – Bernama 

KUMPULAN EMAS BHD subsidiary Salcon Engineering Bhd has acquired a 100% subsidiary in Hong Kong, Salcon Water (HK) Ltd. 

The principal activity of the new subsidiary is investment, engineering and construction of water and wastewater project. – Bernama 

LKT INDUSTRIAL BHD's pre-tax loss for the first quarter ended March 31 rose to RM2.29mil from a pre-tax loss of RM557,000 in the previous corresponding quarter. The revenue fell to RM10.38mil from RM13.66mil. – Bernama 

SUNWAY CITY BHD's pre-tax profit in the first quarter ended March 31 dropped to RM12.11mil from RM50.99mil in the previous corresponding period. 

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