Cahya Mata Sarawak gets earnings boost from land sale

(CMS) Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) posted a 20% jump in earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, to RM101.5mil compared with a year earlier, thanks to gains from land disposal and foreign exchange (forex) difference.

The group, which derives most of its revenue from construction-related activities, said the “others” segment of its business – which covers the land sale and forex – amounted to RM28.9mil (the land sale profit itself made up RM25mil) against RM26,000 previously.

According to CMS’ results report, construction and construction materials businesses posted lower operating profits, offset by higher contributions from cement and property development; however, the overall profit excluding the “others” segment was flat.

Meanwhile, revenue shrank by 11% to RM450.3mil in the quarter under review.

For the full year, CMS’ earnings were 32% lower at RM169.2mil while revenue slid 13% to RM1.55bil.

On its prospects for this financial year, CMS said the operating environment surrounding the group was expected to remain challenging, but the group was set to weather this due to its healthy financial position through its diversified portfolio of Sarawak-based businesses.

“Our strong fundamentals and resilience will enable us to perform and to deliver a satisfactory financial performance for the year 2017 and, coupled with other measures management is taking, the group is positioning itself for long term sustainable revenue and profitability growth,” the company said.

CMS said its board had proposed a final dividend of 6.3 sen per share (2015: 3.0 sen). No other dividend was proposed earlier in 2016 so the total remains 6.3 sen versus 4.5 sen the previous year.

The company’s dividend policy provides for a net payout ratio of 40% of its annual consolidated profit after tax and non-controlling interests to shareholders subject to a minimum of 2 sen per share.

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