INCREASED electricity sales due to steady economic growth saw Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) report a 13.6% jump in pre-tax profit to RM1.71bil for financial year ended Aug 31, 2003 from RM1.51bil a year ago.
Turnover rose to RM16.5bil from RM15.3bil and operating expenses rose 5.2% to RM13.7bil from RM13.1bil previously.
Net profit grew 16.7% to RM1.11bil from RM955.5mil reported a year ago. It was, however, short of the RM1.3bil expected from 23 analysts polled by IBES International Inc.
In announcing the company's results in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, TNB chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said “the company recorded good growth and profits were much higher than anticipated. The powerhouse also managed to contain cost.’’
Excluding the payouts to independent power producers (IPP), TNB’s operating cost rose only 2.2%.
IPP payouts totalled RM5.7bil compared to RM5.2bil paid a year ago, due to newer IPPs coming on stream.
Earnings per share (EPS) rose to 35.83 sen from 30.71 sen a year ago.
TNB declared a 12.5 sen dividend for the year, which is higher than the 10.2 sen paid last year. The current payout is closer to what the company has been paying pre-Asian financial crisis.
“We are paying higher dividend due to our better performance. It is a small gesture in appreciation of our loyal shareholders. Hopefully we will do better (in current financial year)’’ Awang Adek said.
For the fourth quarter, TNB's turnover was slightly higher at RM4.3bil compared with RM4.09bil reported in the previous corresponding quarter.
Pre-tax profit came in at RM547mil versus RM216mil previously, while net profit rose to RM203mil from RM28mil.
EPS was higher at 6.55 sen against 0.91 sen reported in the fourth quarter of its 2002 financial year.
Awang Adek said the contribution of electricity sales from peninsular Malaysia to group revenue was 91.5%; its Sabah unit 3.5%; and 2.1% from Liberty Power of Pakistan. TNB's shift in the use of more coal to lower fuel costs was evident during the just completed financial year as the usage of coal as a percentage of its fuel cost increased to 35.2% from 16.2% while oil dropped to 6% from 23% a year ago.
The usage of gas stood at 58.5%. Total fuel cost fell to RM2.12bil from RM2.5bil.
TNB’s total debt rose to RM30.9bil from RM29.1bil. Half of its loans are in ringgit; 34% in US dollars; 10.2% in yen; 4.4% in British pounds; and RM1.9% in euro.
TNB managed to save RM17mil in finance cost arising from the weaker US dollar.
Awang Adek said negotiations for the sale of its Kapar Power Station to Malakoff Bhd were in its final stages and the deal is expected to be wrapped up early next year.
A submission to seek an extension in time to conclude negotiations would be made to the authorities.
The proceeds from the sale are expected to be RM4bil.
Awang Adek was not overly worried over TNB's reserve margin of 45% as he was confident the excess would be absorbed over the next one to two years with increased economic activity and possibility of selling electricity to neighbouring countries.
The talks with EGAT (Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand) would possibly see TNB selling 300MW to 400MW initially. As for electricity sales to Sumatra, that would only be possible once the Asean grid is established.
On the outlook of earnings for current FY, he said: “If economic growth is higher, our sales would hopefully be higher.’’
TNB's capital expenditure is also falling as the company spent RM3.6bil during its 2003 financial year versus RM4.5bil previously.Stock watch on Tenaga
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