KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): Ekovest Bhd’s net profit jumped 33.86% year-on-year to RM54.93 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 (2QFY18) from RM41.03 million on the back of better contribution from its property development segment.

Earnings per share grew to 2.57 sen in 2QFY18 from 1.92 sen a year ago, the company announced this evening. Quarterly revenue climbed 8.34% to RM297.88 million from RM274.96 million.

Ekovest said its construction sector achieved lower revenue and profit before interest and tax in 2QFY18, mainly due to the completion of phase two of the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway, resulting in lower progress construction workdone.

The property development segment saw higher sales recognition due to increased progress of work done which raised profit before interest and tax to RM23.31 million for 2QFY18 compared with RM6.32 million in 2QFY17.

As for toll operations, Ekovest registered lower revenue of RM36.18 million in the quarter under review, compared with RM37.64 million revenue in 2QFY17, which included a one-off toll compensation of RM7.97 million. “Had the compensation amount been excluded, the 2QFY18 revenue would have been higher by RM6.52 million,” Ekovest explained.

For the cumulative six months ended Dec 31, 2017 (6MFY18), net profit went up 16.89% to RM94.83 million compared with RM81.13 million while revenue grew 10.45% to RM528.52 million from RM478.50 million in 6MFY17.

The board expects the ongoing construction of the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway, River of Life and related projects, the opening of the DUKE Phase-2’s toll revenue and the recognition of unbilled sales from property development activities to contribute positively to its turnover and profitability in the financial year ending June 30, 2018 (FY18).

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Ekovest is confident its performance would remain satisfactory for FY18.

Its shares closed down one sen or 0.98% yesterday at RM1.01 for a market capitalisation of RM2.16 billion. — theedgemarkets.com

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