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Thursday, 04 March 2021

PPB GROUP ACHIEVED RM1.42 BILLION PRE-TAX PROFIT IN 2020 AND RECOMMENDS FINAL AND SPECIAL DIVIDENDS

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF FY2020

  • PPB Group revenue declined by 11% to RM4.19 billion in FY2020 (FY2019 : RM4.68 billion) mainly attributed to lower revenue from Film exhibition and distribution
  • Group pre-tax profit of RM1.42 billion was 12% higher than FY2019 of RM1.27 billion mainly due to higher profit contribution from our 18.6% associate, Wilmar International Limited (Wilmar) which contributed RM1.24 billion for FY2020 (FY2019 : RM960 million). Core group profit was, however, lower by 43%.
  • Profit after tax for FY2020 was RM1.36 billion and earnings per share was 92.57 sen.

PROPOSED SPECIAL AND FINAL DIVIDENDS TOTALING 38 SEN PER SHARE
PPB’s Board has recommended a final dividend of 22 sen per share and a special dividend of 16 sen per share for FY2020 subject to approval by PPB shareholders at the 52nd Annual General Meeting to be held on 11 May 2021.  The final and special dividends are payable on 1 June 2021 to shareholders whose names appear in the Record of Depositors on 17 May 2021.

Together with the interim dividend of 8 sen per share, the total dividend paid and payable for FY2020 would be 46 sen per share (FY2019 : 31 sen per share).

REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
The results of PPB’s business operations for 2020 are summarised as follows :-

  • Revenue from the Grains and agribusiness segment was relatively unchanged at RM3.29 billion (FY2019 : RM3.3 billion).  Segment profit increased by 28% to RM272 million (FY2019 : RM213 million) mainly attributable to lower raw material costs and higher share of profits from its associates.
  • Consumer products segment revenue remained unchanged at RM628 million (FY2019 : RM627 million).  Segment profit was higher at RM32 million (FY2019 : RM647,000) due mainly to a one-off gain on step-acquisition of an associate of RM21 million and better performance at the bakery division.
  • Segment results of Film Exhibition and Distribution were significantly impacted by reduced admissions, intermittent closure of cinemas and deferment of movie titles during the year as the country fought the Covid-19 pandemic through the Movement Control Order (“MCO”).  Film Exhibition and Distribution segment incurred a loss of RM136 million for FY2020 (FY2019 : RM67 million profit).
  • Environmental engineering and utilities segment revenue was lower by 3% at RM190 million (FY2019 : RM195 million).  Profit was higher by 28% at RM14 million (FY2019 : RM11 million) mainly attributable to share of profit from joint venture as a one-time impairment of an overseas joint venture of RM8.9 million was made in FY2019.  Excluding that, performance was also affected by slower project activities due to the imposition of MCO during the year.
  • Property segment recorded revenue and profit of RM67 million (FY2019 : RM65 million) and RM4 million (FY2019 : RM14 million) respectively due to lower rental income and the absence of a one-time gain on disposal of property of RM4.7 million in FY2019.

PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF CINEMA ASSETS
On 23 February 2021, Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) signed an Asset Sale Agreement to acquire the majority of cinema assets from MCAT Box Office Sdn Bhd and Reel Entertainment Holdings Sdn Bhd (both in creditors’ voluntary winding up), operators of the former MBO cinema circuit.  The acquisition is expected to complete by end of June 2021.

This strategic acquisition will help accelerate growth and strengthen the market leadership position of GSC moving forward.

PROSPECTS FOR 2021
The Grains and agribusiness segment is expected to weather the volatile commodities market. The segment, which is in the business of production and distribution of staple food, is expected to perform satisfactorily, riding on its strong technical competency, extensive marketing and distribution network as well as in-depth procurement experience.

The Consumer Products segment is expected to perform satisfactorily as the Group endeavours to expand sales into the food service channel and e-commerce marketplace.  

The Film exhibition and distribution segment performance will be weighed down by intermittent cinema closures, operating in reduced seating capacity due to strict adherence to maintaining social distancing, and deferment of movie titles releases.  Management is confident that the movie industry will start to recover as the Covid-19 cases are brought under control and after the planned rollout of the vaccination programme in February 2021. We remain resilient during this transitory period and continue to work on revenue diversification and cost optimisation initiatives, in addition to stringent cash flow management.

The Environmental engineering and utilities segment will continue to focus on replenishing its order book and exploring new project opportunities.

Performance of the Property segment remains challenging, both in the area of investment properties and property development. Management will continue to work on various initiatives to improve footfall in our malls as well as to increase sales of our development properties.

The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to weigh on our Film exhibition and distribution and Property segments. The other main business segments, which are mainly in the production and distribution of staple food and services, are expected to perform satisfactorily. Wilmar's performance will continue to contribute substantially to the overall profitability of the Group.

 

 

 

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