Sentoria 4Q net profit plunges 71%

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): Property developer Sentoria Group Bhd saw its net profit plunge 71.3% to RM10.06 million for the fourth financial quarter ended Sept 30, 2014 (4QFY14) from RM35.01 million a year ago, mainly caused by its leisure and hospitality division which incurred much higher costs consequent to the opening of the Bukit Gambang Safari Park in Bukit Gambang Resort City in Kuantan, Pahang at end-FY13.

Revenue for 4QFY14, however, rose 8.2% to RM64.52 million from RM59.65 million a year ago, mainly due to higher billings from its property development division.

The weak quarterly results dragged Sentoria's net profit for the 12 months ended Sept 30, 2014 (FY14) down by 45.1% to RM29.14 million from RM53.09 million in FY13.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Sentoria attributed the drop in FY14 net profit to lower contribution from the leisure and hospitality division resulting from the prolonged wet weather in east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in November and December 2013.

"Higher overheads of Bukit Gambang Safari Park, which was in its first year of full-fledged operation, and higher finance cost group-wise were also contributory factors," said Sentoria.

Revenue for FY14, however, increased 5.3% to RM218.4 million from RM207.5 million in FY13, mainly due to higher billings from property projects.

In a separate statement, Sentoria head of public and investor relations, Nasiruddin Nasrun, said the group is moving forward in its business strategy to diversify its business to different region within Malaysia, reducing its dependency on its traditional market, namely Kuantan.

He said the group will be launching new projects in its existing and recently acquired land-bank via joint ventures and outright purchase, in Morib, Kuching and Kuantan.

The target launches, estimated to have a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.5 billion, consist of affordable homes projects as well as commercial developments in these three locations.

Each location is expected to launch development projects worth RM500 million over the next three years.

"The group will continue to emphasise on its core strength in building affordable homes. The group’s new affordable housing project in Taman Bukit Gambang, which was launched in the third quarter of the current financial year to cater for the growing demand near Bukit Gambang Resort City had received good sales response to date and will be a major contributor in the coming financial year," said Nasiruddin.

He added that the on-going construction of the Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) project in Pahang is also expected contribute "significantly" to Sentoria's earnings going forward.

"These projects together with the anticipated launches of the initial phases of the group’s properties outside its traditional stronghold in Kuantan will ensure that the group sustains its profitability in the coming years," he added.

Shares of Sentoria closed up 4.51% at RM1.39 today, bringing a market capitalisation of RM577.74 million.