George Kent, Axiata, Astro, Bumi Armada, United Malacca, Poh Huat, MAHB, Apex Equity, Poh Kong, Hai-O and Eversendai

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies in focus on Thursday (Sept 27) may include: George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, United Malacca Bhd, Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Apex Equity Holdings Bhd, Poh Kong Holdings Bhd, Hai-O Enterprise Bhd and Eversendai Corp Bhd

George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd's net profit dipped 3.1% to RM24.58 million in the second financial quarter ended July 31, 2018 (2QFY19) from RM25.38 million a year ago, mainly attributed to lower profits contributed by the metering division.

Quarterly revenue fell 39.8% to RM112.93 million from RM187.57 million a year ago. The group declared an interim dividend of 2 sen per share for the financial year ending Jan 31, 2019 (FY19), payable on Nov 1.

For the cumulative six months (1HFY19), the group's net profit, however, came in 5.1% higher at RM46.12 million from RM43.87 million a year ago, even though revenue dropped 32.9% to RM212.7 million from RM316.99 million in 1HFY18.

Axiata Group Bhd, which holds a 28.69% stake in Singapore's M1 Ltd, said it is already in discussion with "a financial institution" to act as adviser to review various options that M1's two substantial shareholders might offer.

Axiata reiterated that it would "vigorously protect" and enhance shareholders' values of both Axiata and M1 when options are being reviewed.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended July 31, 2018 (2QFY19) sank by 93.3% to RM16.6 million, from RM246.3 million in a year ago due to the FIFA World Cup and higher cost of merchandise sales and net finance costs.

Quarterly revenue slipped lower by 0.23% to RM1.416 billion against RM1.42 billion in 2QFY18.

The board also declared a second interim single-tier dividend of 2.5 sen per share in respect of the financial year ending Jan 31, 2019, payable on Oct 26.

For the first half of its financial year ending Jan 31, 2019 (1HFY19), the group’s net profit fell by 56.7% to RM191.3 million, from RM442.2 million in a previous year; while revenue came in lower at RM2.73 billion in the 1HFY19 from RM2.75 billion recorded in 1HFY18.

Bumi Armada Bhd has appointed Luke Christopher Targett as the company’s new chief financial officer (CFO) taking over from acting CFO Pierre Philippe Georges Savy, effective Oct 29.

Bumi Armada said Pierre, 59, who helmed the group as acting CFO over the last two years, will take on a new role as special advisor to the chief executive officer’s (CEO) office.

United Malacca Bhd registered a higher net loss of RM18.49 million for the first financial quarter ended July 31, 2018 (1QFY19) from RM316,000 a year ago, on lower production of fresh fruit bunches but expects production to improve in the second half. Even so, it warned of challenges in the financial year owing to depressed crude palm oil prices and the adoption of a new accounting framework.

Revenue plunged 43% year-on-year to RM40 million from RM70.33 million.

Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd recorded a 4.72% decline in net profit for its third financial quarter ended July 31, 2018 (3QFY18) to RM9.2 million from RM9.66 million a year ago, as its Vietnamese operations faced stiffer competition and lower sales.

The group’s overall revenue declined 4.28% to RM145 million in 3QFY18 from RM151.48 million in 3QFY17.

For the cumulative nine months ended July 31, 2018 (9MFY18), the group’s net profit fell 30.7% year-on-year to RM26.28 million, while revenue for the period slipped 2.3% to RM432.42 million from RM442.58 million a year ago.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) lost an arbitration case to Kuala Lumpur Aviation Fueling System Sdn Bhd (KAFS), which had sought a RM28.28 million claim for alleged losses and damages pertaining to design changes under an airport facilities agreement (AFA) entered into on Sept 26, 2007.

MAHB said its wholly-owned subsidiary Malaysia Airports (Properties) Sdn Bhd (MA Properties) has received the award from the Arbitral Tribunal in favour of KAFS in relation to the dispute.

The High Court of Malaya has granted Apex Equity Holding Bhd’s application for orders to validate its past share buy-back exercises conducted between 2005 and 2017.

Hai-O Enterprise Bhd registered a reduced net profit of RM11 million for the first financial quarter ended July 31, 2018 (1QFY19), 38.5% lower than RM17.87 million a year ago, owing to lower multi-level marketing and retail revenue. Revenue fell 35.7% to RM80.08 million from RM124.54 million a year ago.

Poh Kong Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2018 (4QFY18) shed by 38% to RM8.93 million, from RM14.3 million in a year ago as the fluctuation in gold prices affected its operating profits.

Its quarterly revenue, however, went up 4.7% to RM272.2 million during the quarter under review compared with RM260 million a year ago.

For the full FY18, the group’s annual net profit declined by 20.7% to RM23.4 million from RM29.5 million in FY17, despite revenue growing 14.4% to RM1 billion from RM877 million.

Eversendai Corp Bhd's year-to-date (YTD) project wins grew to RM1.12 billion, after the company secured four new projects worth RM404 million.