KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): WCT Holdings Bhd's (WCT) net profit rose 16.9% to RM38.39 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 (1QFY18) from RM32.84 million a year ago, on higher construction billings from local infrastructure projects.

Earnings per share was up 2.71 sen for 1QFY18 compared with 2.62 sen for 1QFY17.

Quarterly revenue also grew 14.1% to RM539.79 million in 1QFY18 from RM472.88 million a year ago, driven by the engineering and construction segment which accounted for 83% of the group's revenue.

The property development and the property investment and management segments contributed 10% and 7% respectively to the group's revenue.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, WCT said the engineering and construction segment grew 16% year-on-year to RM446 million on higher contribution from local infrastructure projects which fetch better profit margin.

On prospects, WCT group managing director Datuk Lee Tuck Fook said its engineering and construction segment is expected to continue to build on its strong outstanding order book of over RM5 billion comprising mainly civil and infrastructural works.

“For the remaining of 2018, we will continue to intensify our marketing and sales initiatives to improve sales of the group’s existing unsold properties," said Lee.

“Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru is expected to provide a stable income stream to the Group in addition to our existing retail malls such as [email protected] and Paradigm Mall Petaling Jaya," he added.

Subject to market conditions, WCT plans to launch two new projects, namely Sapphire Residences at Paradigm Petaling Jaya and Paradigm Residences in Johor Bahru.

"We will also continue to divest some of the group’s idle lands to realise some investment profits capitalising on the higher market value compared to the original costs. The sale of such idle lands would also help us to better manage our gearing position," said Lee.  

WCT shares closed one sen or 0.63% lower at 80 sen yesterday, with 17.02 million of shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.1 billion. — theedgemarkets.com

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