Westports 4Q net profit falls 31%; company pays 6.33 sen dividend

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 31, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Westports Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4QFY18) fell by 31% to RM145.54 million from RM210.98 million a year earlier, mainly on higher taxes.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the port operator said it had a year earlier registered a lower effective tax rate due to investment tax allowance claim.

The revenue shrank by 27% to RM418.02 million in 4QFY18 from RM573.96 million a year ago, it said.

“It (the drop in revenue) was mainly attributed to the adoption of MFRS 15 from Jan 1, 2018. The group recorded profit before tax (PBT) of RM193.8 million in 4QFY18, a 33% increase compared to 4QFY17,” it said.

It said the growth in PBT was due to higher gross profit.

“The group profit after tax of RM145.5 million was below by 31% compared to 4QFY17 mainly (because) in 4QFY17 effective tax rate was lower due to claim of investment tax allowance,” it said.

Westports declared a second interim single-tier dividend of 6.33 sen per share in respect of FY18. This brings the full FY18 dividend payout to 11.73 sen a share.

For the full FY18, Westports reported an 18% decline in net profit to RM533.47 million from RM651.51 million a year earlier, while revenue retreated 23% to RM1.61 billion from RM2.09 billion.

“For the 12-month ended Dec 31, 2018, Westports handled a total container throughput of 9.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a growth of 6% over the previous year.

Gateway volume increased by 18% over the previous year, reflecting favourable domestic economic activities, while transhipment throughput edged higher to 6.2 million TEUs.

“Westports’ container throughput is expected to register a single-digit percentage growth rate in 2019,” it said.