INDUSTRIAL paper producer Muda Holdings Bhd is hopeful of returning to the black this year, barring any unforeseen circumstances, chairman and group managing director Tan Sri Lim Guan Teik said.
The groups full year results will be determined by its performance in the 3rd and final quarters amidst fluctuating pulp and paper prices and the uncertainties in the global economy, he told StarBiz after the companys AGM and EGM in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
Notwithstanding the pre-tax loss of RM3.65mil in the 1st quarter ended March 31, the group is confident of recovering in the remaining quarters of this year, Lim said.
Despite the pre-tax loss, he said, the groups turnover was on the rise; it reported RM123.05mil in turnover in the 1st quarter of this year.
Our business is such that the 1st half of the year is our seasonally low period while the 2nd half will normally register better demand or take-up rate, Lim said.
Muda is said to be one of only two integrated carton box manufacturers in the country, the other being Genting Sanyen Industrial Paper Sdn Bhd.
Chief financial controller Lee Bun Tai said corrugated carton manufacturers had been facing problems absorbing the high increases in production costs, particularly with fluctuating paper prices regionally and price increases in starch, ink and oil-based materials, particularly during the 1st quarter of the year.
He said the high cost of paper, which constitute about 60% of total production cost of finished corrugated products, was threatening the industrys survival.
For this year, Muda is focusing on consolidating its position and maintaining its customers' base of mainly multinational companies and local companies,'' he added.