Mah Sing kicks off 2019 on a lower note, eyes land in Klang Valley

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 30): Mah Sing Group Bhd's net profit dropped 14.3% to RM55.01 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 (1QFY19) from RM64.2 million a year ago, on lower contribution from its property development segment.

This resulted in a lower earnings per share of 1.51 sen for 1QFY19 compared with 1.89 sen for 1QFY18.

Quarterly revenue also fell 23% to RM450.33 million from RM584.76 million a year ago.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Mah Sing said it achieved property sales of RM300.5 million in 1QFY19.

On prospects for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2019, Mah Sing said it is now focusing on increasing land banks in the Klang Valley where demand for affordable houses is expected to remain resilient.

The group's cash and bank balances stood at RM1.28 billion as at end-March. It has a land bank of 2,099 acres, with remaining gross development value (GDV) and unbilled sales totalling RM25.1 billion.

In a separate statement, Mah Sing founder and managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum remains positive that its property projects will continue to gain traction with buyers, where 81% of its property projects are catered for the affordable segment, which is below the RM700,000 mark.

"We believe the volatile market environment will lead more people and investors to fall back to property,” he said.

Leong pointed to the group's recent acquisition in Happy Garden here, dubbed M Oscar, noting that the project, which has an estimated GDV of RM500 million, is targeted to commence in the second half of 2019 and developed over four to five years.

"The proposed smallest two-room, 700 sq ft unit is indicatively priced from RM428,000 and our online registration of interest will start in June," he added.

"We are also in talks with potential partners from China to set up a permanent industrialised building system (IBS) precast concrete plant in Kajang, Selangor. If this collaboration is successful, we will be able to market and install IBS components at our own projects and other developments, including the government’s affordable homes and government projects," said Leong.

Mah Sing shares closed down 0.5 sen or 0.55% at 90.5 sen today, with 363,200 shares done, bringing a market capitalisation of RM2.2 billion.