KUALA LUMPUR (April 27): EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd saw its net profit surge 3.47 times to RM4.48 million in the third financial quarter ended Feb 28, 2018 (3QFY18) from RM1.29 million a year ago, on contribution from its two development projects namely Phase 1 of Ampang Ukay known as Liberty @ Ampang Ukay here and Upper East @ Tiger Lane in Ipoh, Perak.

This resulted in higher earnings per share of 0.56 sen in 3QFY18 compared with 0.16 sen in 3QFY17. Quarterly revenue also grew 10.1% to RM35.3 million from RM32.05 million a year ago.

For the cumulative nine months (9MFY18), the group's net profit more than quadrupled to RM35.6 million from RM7.85 million a year ago, while revenue almost doubled to RM120.52 million from RM61.66 million in 9MFY17.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, EcoFirst attributed the strong 9MFY18 results to its two property projects, as well as recurring income from its two malls — the South City Plaza in Seri Kembangan, Selangor and the 1Segamat Shopping Centre in Segamat, Johor.

"The current year to-date results also included gain from disposal of land for the upcoming Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway due to compulsory acquisition by the government amounting to RM28.4 million," it said.

On current year’s prospects, EcoFirst group chief executive officer Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee said Ecofirst is in a solid position for growth, with low gearing and a strong cash position.

In addition to sales from Ampang Ukay, the group will be exploring and developing joint venture partnerships in the future, he added.

EcoFirst said contribution from Upper East is expected to continue from the sales of remaining unsold units. The project achieved vacant possession stage in 1QFY18.

"Liberty project will continue to contribute positively to the group’s performance in FY18 and subsequent financial years.

"Rental income from the property investment division for the ensuing period will also continue to be derived from the operations of South City Plaza," it added.

As at April this year, Ecofirst has unbilled sales of RM356.5 million.

“With an estimated gross development value of more than RM5 billion, it will keep us busy for the next 12 to 15 years. We are confident we will be able to sustain our profitability,” said Tiong.

EcoFirst shares closed unchanged at 30 sen today, with 44,000 shares done, giving it a market capitalisation of RM240.9 million. — theedgemarkets.com

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