Astro, HSL, AirAsia, Top Glove, ECM Libra and MUI

Astro, HSL, AirAsia, Top Glove, ECM Libra and MUI
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 18): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus on Friday (June 19) may include: Astro Holdings Bhd, Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL), AirAsia Group Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, ECM Libra Group Bhd and Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI).

Pay-television operator Astro Holdings Bhd’s net profit more than halved to RM73.84 million in the first quarter ended April 30, 2020 (1QFY21), from RM176.20 million a year ago, amid higher unrealised forex losses and a decline in revenue, as advertisers pulled back spending during the pandemic outbreak and subsequent movement control order (MCO).

Quarterly revenue was lower by RM182 million y-o-y, impacted by a decline in advertising and subscription, and our prudent revenue recognition approach. Going forward, the group expects to face headwinds in its advertising and commercial revenue, as well as elevated collection risk, and has accordingly raised provisions on receivables.

Sarawak-based construction specialist Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL)’s 1QFY20 net profit fell to RM7.55 million from RM14.09 million. Revenue dropped to RM112.40 million from RM146.72 million, of which 90% was contributed by the construction segment and the balance by the property development segment. Both segments were hit by Covid-19 pandemic and MCO.

HSL group managing director Datuk Paul Yu Chee Hoe said the company's order book currently stands at RM3.4 billion, with an outstanding balance of RM2.2 billion.

AirAsia Group Bhd has partnered with local hotels to offer hassle-free, best price guaranteed deals with bigger savings on SNAP, its flight + hotel combo booking platform. It said SNAP leverages AirAsia’s extensive network of over 160 destinations, with many being unique and exclusive routes, to provide the best price for flights while working directly with hotel partners to offer best value room deals.

Top Glove Corp Bhd has described as “highly inaccurate” claims of worker exploitation made by Britain’s Channel 4 News, in an investigative report aired on Tuesday. The world’s largest glove maker said many of the allegations are historical and that significant improvements have already been made. The company said it has been compliant with local labour laws, and has implemented environmental, health and safety measures for its workers.

Datuk Lim Kian Onn has passed on the top job at ECM Libra Group Bhd to his son Gareth Lim Tze Xiang. Effective June 1, Gareth was appointed CEO and redesignated to executive director, while Kian Onn was redesignated to non-independent and non-executive director from managing director.

Gareth holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from St. Catharine’s College at the University of Cambridge. He is also the CEO of Singapore-listed Plato Capital Ltd Group that holds an 11.81% stake in ECM as at May 29.

Loss-making Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) saw its net loss widen to RM138.47 million in the third quarter ended March 31, 2020, a six-fold jump from RM19.63 a year earlier. Quarterly revenue was down 32.6% to RM59.95 million, from RM88.92 million. MUI said the MCO, which was implemented on March 18, has further affected the group’s financial performance.

For the nine-month period, the firm’s net loss grew nearly 700% to RM162.91 from a net loss of RM20.43 million in the previous corresponding period. Revenue dropped 12.38% to RM265.28 million from RM302.76 million. The group said its focus now would be on recovery through various strategies and plans.