KUCHING: B.I.G. Industries Bhd (BIG) is to invest an additional RM4mil on mixer trucks and concrete pumps.
Chairman Datuk Sawaludin Md Din said the capital expenditure was to invigorate BIG’s ready mixed cement and concrete pile division (RMC) and to position itself as a market leader.
“This will boost the RMC division’s capacity to gear for higher sales volume and better delivery services to our customers.
“With aggressive coverage of precast market throughout Sabah,the pile division is expected to maintain its leadership role in RC pile supply with the support of other precast products,like box culverts,L-shape and U-drain,” he added in the company 2013 annual report.
According to the report,BIG group is a pioneer and leading ready mix concrete supplier,which owns a fleet of over 50 mixer trucks supported by several strategically located batching plants in Sabah.
Last year, the RMC division recorded higher revenue of RM51.3mil,up from RM47.7mil in 2012,while its pre-tax profit climbed to RM2.14mil from RM280,000 during the same period.
BIG is also one of the largest suppliers of industrial gases in Sarawak, with a smaller share in Sabah.
On its industrial gas business, Sawaludin said the group had refined its strategic direction going forward which was to move towards specialty products and solutions while strengthening its basic cylinders sales and bulk sales.
“At the same time,we are committed to ensure we understand and anticipate our customers’ business requirements so as to offer solutions to meet their needs.”
He said increasing cost of fuel and energy,especially in electricity tariffs,had considerably affected production costs of industrial gases
In 2013,the industrial gas division registered lower sales of about RM32mil against RM36mil in 2012 due to intense competition and a price war.Morover,the division posted higher pre-tax profit of RM1.58mil from RM1.22mil.
BIG group is also into property development,the 2014 market outlook of which is being described as “positive” by Sawaludin.
“There will always be genuine demand for properties and measures,such as the higher real property gains tax (RPGT),will not affect homebuyers buying for their own occupation or for long-term investments.Such measures will hopefully reduce speculation in the property market which has inflated prices to levelsno longer deemed affordable by majority of the population,” he said.
Sawaludin said shortage of skilled labour and higher labour costs coupled with inconsistent supply and rising costs of building materials would put pressure on profit margins of developers.