CMS sees 1Q21 earnings soar 350 per cent to RM77.8 million

A file photo showing the CMS headquarters located at Wisma Mahmud in Kuching.

KUCHING, May 25: Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd’s (CMS) earnings for the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21) soared by 350 per cent to RM77.8 million, compared with RM17.3 million reported in the corresponding quarter of last year.

The Group in a press statement today said the higher earnings generated was attributed to gains on disposal of 46.60 million shares in Kenanga Investment Bank amounting to RM28.5 million, gains on disposal of land of RM12.7 million and improvements in associates’ performance.

CMS added the Group also reported higher revenue of RM202 million in the first quarter ended March 2021 due to higher contributions from its cement, trading and property development divisions.

Commenting on the Group’s 1Q21 performance, CMS Group’s managing director Dato Isaac Lugun said: “Our first quarter results were extremely commendable in light of the fact that traditionally the first quarter has always been the worst performing quarter for all the past years, and for this quarter it is also achieved against a challenging backdrop of new waves of the pandemic surfacing.

“I am heartened at the resilience of our people in turning things around despite the daunting challenges we faced.

“The team has been laser-focused in implementing catch-up strategies across the Group once we were allowed to resume operations after the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“Even after disregarding the various gains on disposal, our profit before tax (PBT) improved by 128 per cent,” he said.

Dato Isaac Lugun

Going forward, CMS said its cement division is aiming to further improve its clinker production with its medium-term goal of achieving a volume of 700,000 metric tonnes (MT) and above annually, and to eventually operate at around 800,000 MT annually by 2023 and beyond.

Despite the disruptions stemming from the various phases of the MCO, CMS emphasised that the company occupies a strong market position as Sarawak’s sole cement manufacturer and expects to benefit from the implementation of construction packages throughout the State.

As for the Group’s construction materials division, it is poised to remain strong this year due to continuing demand for quarry and premix products.

With its current portfolio of four quarries with approximately 4 million MT per annum production, the division is best positioned to support the State government in realising its development plans.

The Group’s management is also looking to increase its quarry assets by expanding their capacity and adding new sites across the State.

For the Group’s trading division, it is on a strong footing to capture opportunities from infrastructure developments in Sarawak especially with several mega infrastructure projects underway or in the pipeline.

Apart from that, the Group’s construction division, a 49 per cent joint-venture under PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (PPESW) has recently been awarded the data collection scope of works for the “Proposed Long Term Management and Maintenance of State Roads”.

CMS said PPESW is working alongside its road maintenance division on this project.

The company added that it is making every effort to bolster its competitive edge as it bids for new projects related to Sarawak’s Coastal Road Network and the Second Trunk Road projects to grow its construction order book.

Moreover, the Group’s road maintenance division has managed to procure RM5.8 million worth of instructed works from the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR Sarawak).

The management is in active negotiations with JKR Sarawak to procure design and build contracts.

As for the Group’s property development division, CMS said its immediate focus is on developing affordable housing in Bandar Samariang.

CMS added the division aims to leverage on the current resilience of the affordable housing market segment given the current lacklustre commercial property market.

Moving forward, Isaac added: “With a clear growth strategy, strengthened leadership including at the board level and closer collaboration with the State government through Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), the Group is well positioned for sustainable long-term growth albeit the unprecedented threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to linger,” he said. — DayakDaily