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YTL Corp Q3 net more than doubles

Business Times, May 21, 2009

By Goh Thean Eu
Net profit rose 27.7 per cent to RM787.2 million for the nine months ended March 31, driven by its cement business and contributions from a recent acquisition

YTL Corp Bhd(4677), a conglomerate with investments in the utilities, construction, property development and technology, said third quarter net profit more than doubled, helped by its cement business and additional contributions from one of its recent acquisitions.

For the nine months ended March 31 2009, revenue and net profit rose 13 per cent and 27.7 per cent to RM5.35 billion and RM787.2 million, compared with RM4.73 billion and RM616.5 million a year ago.

"The first nine months of the 2009 financial year saw the completion of two significant acquisitions, both of which contributed to YTL Corp's better financial performance during the quarter under review," YTL group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said in a statement yesterday.

The group, via itself or its subsidiary, spent almost S$4 billion (RM9.68 billion) to acquire PowerSeraya power plant and to gain control of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Singapore last year.
The purchase of a 26 per cent stake in Starhill Global REIT (formerly Macquarie Prime REIT) as well as 50 per cent of the holding company of the REIT's manager, which was completed in December 2008, has resulted in profit increase due to the recognition of the fair value excess of the REIT's identifiable assets and liabilities over the cost of the investment.

Yeoh said its cement division also posted "strong growth". YTL Cement Bhd saw a 13 per cent and 20 per cent increase in its third quarter and nine-month net profit, to RM59 million and RM169 million respectively, mainly helped by better overseas contribution.

Starhill REIT, a unit of the company, posted marginally lower third quarter net profit, while nine-month net profit rose about fivefold as a result of a revaluation of investment properties.

YTL Power International Bhd, thegroup's utilities arm, saw its third quarter and nine-month net profit decline by around one fifth, partly due to foreign exchange losses.

"Whilst our utilities division recorded a decrease in earnings owing to a drop in interest income as well as the translation differences arising from a weakening sterling pound, operational performance remained strong and will be enhanced by PowerSeraya's addition to the group," he said.

The power plant has 3,100MW of licensed capacity, comprising about 25 per cent of Singapore's capacity.

"Going forward, the further diversification of our income streams into the Singaporean power and REIT industries will complement the group's utilities in the UK, Australia and Indonesia, cement businesses in China and Singapore and investments in high-end real estate in Singapore," he said.

Both YTL Power and YTL Cement also proposed to reward shareholders with a 7.5 per cent single-tier interim dividend.

YTL shares fell 0.7 per cent, or 5 sen, to RM7.05 yesterday. Its share price remained unchanged year-to-date.

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