PR1MA driving up concrete demand

KUCHING: Quality Concrete Holdings Bhd, which has returned to profitability with the help of its property development, expects to benefit from the launch of the PR1MA housing project and implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project.

The first PR1MA project at Petra Jaya here will involve the construction of some 2,000 units of affordable houses and retail units. Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia has paid RM46mil to Zecon Bhd for the project land under an agreement between the two parties signed a year ago.

Four packages of the Pan Borneo Highway project have been awarded, with nine more to be dished out in stages. The project is estimated to cost RM16bil for the Sarawak portion.

Kuching-based Quality Concrete also supplies ready-mixed concrete, concrete piles and quarry products for the construction and building industries.

Its other businesses include the manufacturing and supply of downstream timber products.

In the financial year ended Jan 31, 2016, Quality Concrete posted a group pre-tax profit of RM7mil, a reversal from a loss of RM9.9mil a year earlier, as revenue expanded to RM185.6mil from RM174mil.

Earnings per share was 26.64sen from a loss of 11.74sen.

The manufacturing segment contributed RM121.5mil to group revenue while the property development and construction segment chipped in RM62.8mil.

The quarry operation segment contributed RM1.6mil.

Quality Concrete attributed last year’s sound performance to the recognition of RM35.4mil in revenue from the sale of commercial shops it had developed in the November-January quarter.

During the same quarter, revenue from the manufacturing and construction segments had fallen by RM3.7mil and RM1.8mil respectively due to the weaker market conditions.

“We are cautiously optimistic that with the launch of the PR1MA housing projects and Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak, the group would be able to maintain its performance in the year ahead,” the company said in notes to its latest financials.

Meanwhile, Sibu-based timber company Subur Tiasa Holdings Bhd has delivered a weak set of results in the second quarter to Jan 31,2016, registering a pre-tax loss of RM813,000 as revenue shrank to RM164.5mil from RM230mil in the preceding year’s corresponding period.

The losses had, however, narrowed from RM3.98mil previously.

The company said it had reduced the losses with the help of higher export sales volume of logs and better average export selling price across all timber and timber products supported by the strong US dollar to the ringgit.

The other positive factors were higher average price and production volume of fresh fruit bunches. The group is involved in the oil palm plantation business.

In the first six months of the current financial year, Subur Tiasa managed to post a marginal group pre-tax profit of RM206,000 on revenue of RM306.7mil.

The revenue came from the timber (RM279mil) and plantation segments (RM27.5mil).

Going forward, Subur Tiasa said the current log prices were expected to be sustained in view of the prevailing tight supply situation.

“The strong US dollar against the ringgit will continue benefiting our export sales which are predominantly in US dollar,” it added in notes to the financial results.

Subur Tiasa expects positive contribution to the group by its oil palm plantation segment.

“The official launch of the biodiesel mandate in Indonesia and the expected implementation of the biodiesel B10 mandate by the Malaysian Biodiesel Association will firm up crude palm oil prices,” it said, adding that the effect of the El Nino weather condition had resulted in low palm oil output for the industry.

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