KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Econpile Holdings Bhd has registered a 7.3% increase in its net profit to RM23.72 million for the third quarter ended March 31, 2018, versus RM22.11 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue for the quarter amounted to RM205.05 million, up 26.4% from RM162.28 million recorded in the same quarter last year.

Econpile has declared a single tier interim dividend of one sen per share, payable on June 26.

Its net profit in the nine-month period rose 12.9% to RM67.64 million, compared with RM59.91 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

Over the same period, its revenue grew 26.4% year-on-year to RM536.12 million from RM424.23 million, mainly contributed by piling and foundation works from property development projects.

In a bourse filing, the company said that during the period, it had booked a gain of RM1.7 million from the disposal of machinery and RM5.2 million from the rental income of equipment.

Econpile's gross profit margin for the period end-March stood at 18.8% compared with 23% previously. The lower margin was attributed to the higher percentage of billings revenue contribution from infrastructure projects, which generally yield less.

Moving forward, the piling specialist said it expects prices of steel-related raw materials, which affected its overall profit margins by about 2% to 3%, to not deteriorate significantly in the remaining quarter to end June 30.

It also said it remains optimistic about new job wins, both in private-initiated property development projects as well as ongoing infrastructure projects that are technically challenging in both civil engineering and deep-basement works.

The piling and foundation specialist has 16 ongoing projects at various stages of completion, with an order book of RM1.2 billion as at end-March.

Econpile's share price has fallen 45% year-to-date from RM1.21 on Dec 29, 2017. It closed unchanged yesterday at 66.5 sen, for a market capitalisation of RM889.44 million. — theedgemarkets.com

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