PPB Group to invest RM307m in flour milling business

KUALA LUMPUR: PPB Group Bhd plans to invest heavily in the flour mill segment and has set aside RM307mil as capital expenditure (capex) this year.

Chairman Datuk Oh Siew Nam said group revenue increased last year due to higher income generated from grains trading, flour and feed milling segment.

"We will invest RM307mil this year and of this amount, about RM185mil will be used to establish nine flour mills in China.

"We will also invest RM73mil to set up flour mills in Hanoi," he told reporters after the company's AGM on Tuesday. Oh said that a major chunk of the capex would be used by the unit, which was involved in grains trading, flour and feed milling business, to improve production and expand current facilities, particularly in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

"Our investment target is in Asia's densely-populated countries where we can expand our business," he said.

Oh said the group's business divisions are expected to perform well this year.

On the cinema business under its unit Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd, he said, the group would invest RM152mil this year for expansion and refurbishment purposes.

"Film exhibition and distribution segment's revenue also grew by two per cent last year following the opening of four new cinemas and higher income generated from screen advertising," he said.

On the property segment, PPB Group Managing Director Lim Soon Huatsaid the company was building a strong property team to cater to the demand after the segment's revenue increased significantly last year.

He said the group was working to strengthen its property segment following its participation in Johor's Iskandar Malaysia via Huge Quest Realty Sdn Bhd, in which the group owned 40 per cent stake and the remaining by Kuok Brothers Group.

"We are bullish on the Iskandar development projects as more demand for industrial property will generate a good growth in residential and commercial properties in Johor," he said.

Last month, Kuok Brothers Group signed a joint-venture agreement with Khazanah Nasional to develop a 4.8ha land in Puteri Harbour with a gross development value exceeding RM1bil.

Southern Marina is a joint-venture company between Kuok Brothers Group and Khazanah with a 70 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively, via Huge Quest Realty Sdn Bhd and Tanjung Bidara Ventures Sdn Bhd.

The proposed development by Southern Marina comprises a mix of residential and commercial development at Puteri Harbour in Nusajaya.

Meanwhile, for financial year ended Dec 31, 2012, group revenue rose by 11 per cent to RM3.02bil mainly due to higher revenue generated from grains trading, flour and feed milling segment.

However, its unaudited pre-tax profit slipped 13 per cent to RM917mil last year due to lower profit contribution from Wilmar International Ltd in the first two quarters of 2012 and losses incurred in livestock farming segment.

The group has a 18.3 per cent stake in Wilmar. "Currently, we've no plans to increase our stake in Wilmar," he added. - Bernama

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PPB Group , Invest , Flour Milling Business


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