PETALING JAYA: Bermaz Auto Bhd (BAuto), which reported a 5% growth in net profit for the fourth quarter ended April 30, 2019, declared a 10.5 sen dividend per share comprising 3.5 sen fourth interim dividend and 7 sen special dividend.
The fourth interim dividend and special dividend distribution on aggregate will amount to RM121.78 million, payable on July 25, 2019.
This brings the total dividend declared for FY19 to 21.25 sen or a total dividend distribution of RM246.5 million, the highest since its listing on Bursa Malaysia. It also represents about 93% of the group’s attributable profit for FY19.
BAuto’s net profit for the February-April period came in higher at RM60.06 million from RM57.19 million a year ago largely due to lower operating overheads.
Its revenue, however, declined 5.7% to RM538.28 million from RM570.59 million, mainly due to lower vehicles sales volume recorded from both the domestic and Philippine operations.
During the quarter under review, the sales volume in Malaysia normalised as the group had fulfilled all back orders received during the tax holiday prior to Sept 1, 2018. The sales volume from the Philippine operations continues to be affected by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law that was implemented in January 2018. The Train law has caused an increase in excise tax and consequently car prices have also increased, thus dampening the demand for motor vehicles in the Philippines.
BAuto’s full-year net profit almost doubled to RM265.27 million from RM139.98 million a year ago, largely underpinned by higher revenue and improvement in gross profit margin from the domestic operations, and a significantly higher share of profit contribution from Mazda Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MMSB).
The improvement in the domestic gross profit margin was primarily due to the favourable sales mix towards high value models and favourable foreign exchange movement, while the higher share of profit contribution from MMSB was mainly due to an increase in production volume for the new CX-5 model.
The group’s full-year revenue expanded 25.1% to RM2.49 billion from RM1.99 billion, thanks to robust sales volume growth from the domestic operations as the change in the goods and services tax from the standard rate of 6% to 0% from June to August 2018 as well as the group’s offer to absorb the Sales and Service Tax for bookings received prior to Sept 1, 2018 had boosted demand, in particularly the SUV models.
Looking ahead, BAuto said the uncertainties over the ongoing trade war between the US and China, the review of mega projects by the government post general election, a persistently weak ringgit and more stringent hire purchase guidelines could further affect local consumer sentiment.
“However, the expected launch of the all new Mazda3, CX-8, CX-30 and the new facelift of the ever popular CX-5 model which includes the 2.5cc Turbo variant in Malaysia in the second half of the calendar year 2019 may mitigate some of these challenges,“ it noted. The group anticipates its performance for FY20 to remain satisfactory.