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Yoma's Q1 net profit up 78% to S$2.56m

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Yoma Strategic Holdings' earnings grew 78 per cent for the first quarter as growth in its automotive sales more than offset a decline in sales of residences and land development rights.

YOMA Strategic Holdings' earnings grew 78 per cent for the first quarter as growth in its automotive sales more than offset a decline in sales of residences and land development rights.

The conglomerate recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of S$2.56 million for the three months ended June 30, up from S$1.44 million a year ago. This translated into earnings of 0.15 Singapore cent a share, from 0.12 cent in the corresponding period in 2014.

Revenue rose 31 per cent to S$22.6 million, as topline in its automotive segment was bolstered significantly by contribution from the newly-acquired Convenience Prosperity Company, which sells tractors and farm equipment in Myanmar.

Its share of losses from joint ventures almost quadrupled to S$249,000, from S$65,000, mainly due to the recognition of share of currency translation loss. This was nonetheless more than made up for by its S$348,000 share of profits from associated companies - up from zero a year ago - which comprise mainly its 25 per cent stake in telecommunication towers firm Digicel Asian Holdings and a 30 per cent interest in beverage producer and distributor Access Myanmar Distribution Co.

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With six foreign bank branches having opened in Yangon, Yoma says it may work with local and foreign banks to secure financing for itself and its customers, particularly for the real estate business.

The firm also noted that Myanmar's current account deficit is expected to widen beyond 7 per cent in 2015/2016, and that the kyat has come under pressure recently.

"Nonetheless, healthy regional demand for Myanmar's natural gas, rising tourism revenue and accelerating FDI will likely help mitigate any significant balance of payment issues," it said. "The group is keeping a close eye on the currency volatility and mitigating our currency exposure where possible."

Meanwhile, it plans to take advantage of the shortage of quality condominiums in Yangon by generating a larger portion of its revenue from rental income.

Shares in Yoma last traded at 47.5 Singapore cents on Friday.

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