JCorp bullish on at least two of its listed entities performing well


JOHOR BARU: Johor Corp is optimistic at least two of its Bursa Malaysia-listed entities, notably in the food and healthcare sectors, will still perform well and chart double-digit growth next year.

Chief executive officer Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said KFC Holdings (M) Bhd (KFCH) and KPJ Healthcare Bhd would continue to chart significant growth during the bad times.

He said both companies had gone through several economic recessions and emerged even stronger when the economy bounced back.

“Food-based products and private healthcare services are two businesses that are recession-proof,’’ Ali told a press conference yesterday after the closing ceremony of the Wind Orchestra 2008 competition for higher learning institutions.

KFC sponsored the competition. Ali, who is also chairman of KFCH and KPJ Healthcare, said as at end September this year, KFCH had already recorded RM1bil in revenue.

He said despite the economic slowdown, KFC outlets in the country recorded 16% growth compared with 4% growth recorded by its outlets in Singapore.

Presently, the company has KFC 430 outlets in Malaysia, two in Cambodia, 71 in Singapore and eight in Brunei.

It plans next year to invest RM25mil in 36 new outlets, of which 30 will be in Malaysia.

Ali said Malaysia, being politically stable, could attract more foreigners to come for treatment at private hospitals here under its health tourism.

He said many foreigners, who were thinking of heading to countries like India and Thailand for treatment, would probably choose other countries in view of the political turmoil in the two countries.

Ali said KPJ Healthcare’s hospitals in Johor received Indonesians from Riau Archipelago while its hospitals in Penang and Perak were popular among Indonesians from Medan and its hospitals in the Klang Valley with patients from Australia and New Zealand.

“We will build a new hospital at Bandar Dato’ Onn in Johor Baru and a new wing at the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital next year,’’ he said.

Ali said KPJ Healthcare would invest RM100mil each for the new hospital and the new wing.

The extension at Ampang would cater solely for foreigners.

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