Yong Tai reports first annual loss in five years

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 28, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Melaka-centric township property developer Yong Tai Bhd announced its first annual net loss in five years, due to losses incurred at its Encore Melaka theatre and after booking a one-off impairment loss in relation to the Terra Square retail mall.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the group’s net loss was RM79.26 million for the financial year ended June 30, 2019 (FY19), compared to a net profit of RM15.51 million for FY18. Revenue fell 23% to RM100.4 million from RM130.09 million.

This came after the group’s net loss of RM62.87 million for the fourth quarter (4QFY19), versus a net profit of RM5.45 million for 4QFY18, as revenue fell 65% to RM9.98 million from RM28.27 million.

The quarter was impacted by no contribution from Terra Square, a one-off impairment loss on inventories and receivables totalling RM59.93 million, and long outstanding receivables arising from the disposal of its dyeing business in FY17.

It also saw low Encore Melaka ticket sales, while its non-operating expenses such as depreciation, amortisation and interest charges are no longer capitalised after Encore Melaka started operations.

Chief executive officer Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon said FY19 is one of the most challenging times that Yong Tai has faced.

“We took a big hit, but this has only strengthened our resolve to make good on what we need to deliver to all our stakeholders.

“We undertook the one-off and non-cash items impairment amounting to RM72.7 million in FY19 to continue having a healthy balance sheet. The move will also prepare Yong Tai for a rebound in profitability moving forward,” he said.

As at June 30, the group’s unbilled sales were at RM410 million, which should provide earnings visibility for two years, he added. The group is also looking for strategic investors to jointly operate the theatre to boost its profile across Asia.