Iris Corp bets on local market again for growth

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): Iris Corp Bhd, which returned to the black in the first financial quarter ended June 30, 2018 (1QFY19) after three consecutive quarters of losses, is refocusing its business on the home front, where it sees more potential for growth.

"When we took over the company (last year), we lost all our contracts in Malaysia," its president and group managing director Datuk Paul Poh Yang Hong told reporters after its extraordinary general meeting here today.

Currently, most of Iris' contracts are from overseas.

In July last year, Poh and Datuk [email protected] Abdul Rahman, via their private investment vehicle Caprice Development Sdn Bhd, had emerged as a substantial shareholder in Iris with a nearly 10% stake. This follows a private placement, as well as acquisition of shares through the open market.

"We entered into this company as long term investors and we do see potential in this company, it's looking good," Poh said, on the outlook for Iris in the current financial year ending March 31, 2019 (FY19).

"Malaysia is where we're looking at right now, it's a big market. For us, now, we have a very small exposure here, although we had the biggest market share previously," he added.

Noting Iris will be focusing on its core business, trusted identification (ID) solutions, Poh said the company has divested its non-core assets in the last two financial years. According to its Annual Report 2018, Iris is divesting the loss-making education division.

Currently, its orderbook stands at RM2 billion for the trusted ID business.

For the first financial quarter ended June 30, 2018 (1QFY19), Iris reported a 66.6% increase in net profit to RM8.68 million, from RM5.21 million a year ago, despite revenue falling 25% to RM75.81 million, from RM101.05 million in 1QFY18.

At noon break, shares of Iris were unchanged at 14 sen, with 2.73 million shares done, for a market capitalisation of RM346.07 million.