KUCHING: Subur Tiasa Holdings Bhd has ventured into pipe-manufacturing and auto sector as the company diversifies from its core loss-making timber operation and plantation business.
Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Krah Grande Borneo Sdn Bhd, has invested in a pipe manufacturing plant which is expected to commence operations by next month, according to chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King.
“The HDPE (high density polyethylene) pipe systems with electrofusion joints produced by the plant can be used for various applications, including sewer, drainage, storm drain and ventilation,” Tiong said.
Tiong said another wholly-owned subsidiary DMG Commercial Sdn Bhd had set up its first vehicle sales and service centre, marking the group’s entry into this new sector.
The vehicle sales and service centres, which began operations recently, offers 2S and 3S services for Mercedes-Benz trucks and Fuso commercial vehicles.
“The group has made significant strides in diversifying its business portfolio by venturing into new industries and services,” he said in the company’s 2022 annual report.
According to Subur Tiasa, its last business diversification was into charcoal manufacturing in 2012.
Subur Tiasa, which owns timber concessions mainly in central Sarawak, is traditionally involved in logging activities and downstream manufacturing of plywood,particleboard and sawn timber.
One of its forest management units (FMUs) – Mujong-Melinau – is certified under the Malaysia timber certification scheme – programme for the endorsement of forest certification scheme forest management certification for sustainable forest management.
The Oya-Balingian FMU is expected to be the second to be certified by next month (June 2023) and the group has embarked on a similar certificate exercise for the remaining FMUs.
Subur Tiasa group is also involved in reforestation activities under five different Licences for Planted Forests (LPFs) located in Miri, Bintulu, Kapit and Sibu for the cultivation of fast-growing timber species as well as bamboo.
Tiong said the group is still streamlining its loss-making timber business, which began in 2021, by focusing on cost-rationalisation measures for the manufacturing operations.
The exercise includes the reshuffling of manpower resources, improving operational efficiency, enhancing productivity and liquidating non-productive assets.
As a result of these efforts, he said the timber segment managed to cut its losses by more than 90% to RM1.2mil in financial year 2022 from a year ago.
“The group remains committed to turning around the timber segment by continuing to focus on cost-reduction measures and improving operational efficiency.
“By doing so, the group aims to further improve the performance of the timber segment and enhance its overall financial performance,” added Tiong.
The group exports the bulk of its logs to India and timber panel products to Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Subur Tiasa group has expanded its oil palm estates, with its land bank growing to 44,500ha as at end-2022.
More than 47% of the landbank has been planted, and the estates are located in Sibu, Mukah, Samarahan and Kapit divisions.
In financial year 2022, the plantation segment contributed RM330.3mil to group revenue of RM585mil.