Kerjaya Prospek sees better year ahead, to set higher dividend policy

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 27, 2020.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd expects to register another record profit this year on the back of improved job prospects.

“This year will be better than last year,” said its executive chairman Datuk Tee Eng Ho, pointing to the group’s strong outstanding order book which stood at RM3.9 billion as at Jan 31, 2020, and is expected to provide earnings visibility for the next 3½ to four years.

In addition, the construction firm is targeting to secure RM1.5 billion worth of jobs for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), more than the RM1.2 billion order book targeted last year, Tee said at the company’s results briefing yesterday for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19).

Contract wins, as of Jan 20 this year, amounted to RM990.5 million or 66% of its target for FY20. For FY19, the group secured order book of RM1.3 billion, about 15% higher than the preceding year’s target.

Tee revealed that the group is tendering jobs worth RM2 billion, mainly high-rise works.

He also said the group plans to revise upward its dividend policy from a previously stated payout of 25% of net profit. For FY18, the company paid out dividends amounting to about 31% of net profit.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Kerjaya Prospek announced that its net profit grew 7.15% to RM36.23 million for the fourth quarter from RM33.81 million a year earlier, due to higher profit from the construction segment. Revenue rose 1.16% year-on-year to RM268.41 million from RM265.33 million.

For the full year, its net profit inched up 1.4% to RM140.14 million, from RM138.34 million in the year-ago period, in spite of a 1.26% dip in revenue to RM1.05 billion.

It declared an interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share in respect of FY19, and Tee hinted there would be another payout later in the fiscal year.

For FY18, the group declared a total dividend of 3.5 sen per share, totalling RM43.28 million.

Shares in Kerjaya Prospek closed four sen or 3.25% higher yesterday at RM1.27, translating into a market capitalisation of RM1.56 billion. Some 186,500 shares were traded.