Fitters earnings soar on turnaround in pipe ops

PETALING JAYA: Fitters Diversified Bhd registered a 78% year-on-year increase in net profit to RM2.46mil for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, on the back of a turnaround in its pipe manufacturing and distribution business.

The company said its HYPRO orientated polyvinyl chloride (PVC-O) pipe segment posted a pre-tax profit of RM354,000, as compared to a loss of RM1.7mil in the same quarter last year.

Fitters said its management and marketing team continued to intensify its efforts to engage with the relevant authorities for wider state acceptance and expand its reach to other sectors.

“This is in support of the government’s initiative to reduce the national average non-revenue water (NRW) rate from 35% in 2018 to 31% by 2020.

“Fitters’ subsidiary Molecor was awarded the central purchase contract by Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd for the supply of HYPRO PVC-O water pipes from 2018 to 2020 for the replacement of ageing asbestos-cement pipes,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

It was reported that over 42,000 km of old asbestos-cement pipes currently used in the water distribution network were due for replacement to reduce water wastage.

According to 2017 statistics, an average of 5,929 million litres of treated water is wasted each day, nationwide.

The HYPRO PVC-O pipes have garnered an increasingly strong recognition across 10 states in Malaysia, with over 450 km of pipes installed to date.

It has also earned the approvals of key authorities in the water sector such as Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara, Ranhill SAJ, Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan, Air Selangor and Air Kelantan.

While the property development and construction division was the largest contributor to the group’s pre-tax profit during the quarter at RM3.26mil, this segment declined 20.9% year-on-year due to the tail-end construction progress of the Azalea project.

The management and construction contract for Phase 2 of Taman Putra project valued at RM81.5mil is expected to commence in the second half of this year.

On the group’s renewable and waste-to-energy division, its pre-tax loss narrowed to RM667,000 for the current quarter as compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

This was mainly attributed to the 2MW biogas power generation facility, which commenced operations at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Going forward, Fitters remains cautious but optimistic about its prospects for the year, given the prevailing market conditions.

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