Press Metal 3Q profit up 5.3% to RM162.5m

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 23, 2018.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd’s third quarter (3Q) net profit rose 5.3% to RM162.5 million from RM154.4 million a year earlier, aided by proceeds from insurance settlement.

Revenue for the quarter ended Sept 30, 2018 also grew 12.1% to RM2.37 billion from RM2.12 billion previously, mainly on the completion of Leader Universal Aluminium Sdn Bhd’s acquisition on March 30 which saw this company’s revenue consolidated into the group’s revenue.

The higher revenue was also due to higher metal price compared to the year-ago 3Q, the group said in a stock exchange filing. It announced a third interim dividend of two sen per share, payable on Dec 27.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2018, Press Metal’s net profit grew 4.6% year-on-year to RM473.6 million from RM452.6 million. Revenue for the nine-month period rose 15.5% y-o-y to RM6.94 billion from RM6 billion.

The group said its financial performance for the period should have been stronger if not for higher raw material prices.

Group CEO Tan Sri Paul Koon said in a press release that the proposed acquisition of a 50% stake in Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd (JAA) is part of its strategy to secure a reliable supply of alumina, a key raw material for the group.

“JAA gives us access to approximately 230,000 tonnes or 5% of total alumina produced from the Worsley Alumina Project, which is one of the world’s largest, longest-life and lowest-cost alumina producers,” Koon said.

JAA is Press Metal’s second venture to strengthen itself vertically after its investment in a joint venture with Sunstone Development Co Ltd in China for the manufacturing of pre-baked carbon anodes, which is another key consumable in the group’s smelting activities.

Koon said Sunstone has begun commissioning its manufacturing operations and is expected to make its maiden delivery in the first quarter of 2019.

“We are close to achieving our targeted 50% value-added contribution to our total sales this year. With our smelters operating at full capacity, we intend to further grow our value-added contribution to 60% by 2019. This will further enhance our margin and strengthen our position directly with end users,” he said.