George Kent tendering for RM4b worth of jobs

PUCHONG: George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd, which posted a 23.2% jump in its net profit for the first quarter ended April 30, 2017 (Q1), has tendered for RM4 billion worth of jobs this year, said executive director Bernie Ooi Chin Khoon.

This includes jobs in systems works for railway transportation, construction of hospitals and water projects.

Group chairman Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock expects FY18 to be a good year and hopes for double-digit growth.

“Just look at Q1, we grew 23% (net profit). The rest of the year looks good,” he told a press conference after the group’s AGM yesterday.

George Kent has two business divisions, which are metering and engineering. As at Jan 31, 2017, the group has an outstanding order book of RM6.13 billion, which can last for five to seven years. Last year, George Kent secured job wins of over RM1.14 billion.

Tan said the group has yet to secure any rail projects overseas and is looking for opportunities.

He said the group’s projects are all going well, adding that after the results for the first six months of FY18 is announced, the picture of the group’s performance will be clearer.

Meanwhile, he said George Kent plans to change its counter on Bursa Malaysia from trading/services to construction, given the contribution ratio from construction and water meters which stands at 80:20.

“For water meters, a RM200 million turnover is a lot, and a RM30-RM40 million contract is big. Railway and construction is different. You’re talking about big volume, small margin. But we’re proud of what we’ve done in our water meters. Engineering margins are higher, while construction margin is low so the two are different businesses,” said Tan.

In Q1, the group’s net profit jumped 23.2% to RM18.5 million from RM15 million a year ago, thanks to higher revenue in both the group’s engineering and metering divisions, with growth particularly spurred by higher demand for its products from both local and export markets.

Revenue grew 5.3% RM129.42 million compared with RM122.96 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

“Demand is great. We’re hard pressed to deliver all our orders,” Tan said, adding that it currently exports to 43 countries and is looking at venturing into Nepal.