• On a segmental basis, Ekovest’s revenue from property development tumbled 86.06% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM9.47 million, while revenue from its toll operations fell 36.97% y-o-y to RM59.7 million.

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): Higher tax expenses pushed Ekovest Bhd into the red in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2023 (2QFY2024), posting a net loss of RM50.6 million or 1.69 sen per share, compared with RM223,000 net profit or 0.01 sen per share a year ago.

Ekovest recorded tax expense of RM17.42 million for the quarter, more than four times the RM3.72 million it recorded in the corresponding quarter a year ago, as losses incurred by certain subsidiaries and certain expenses not being deductible for tax purposes led to higher effective current tax rate compared to the statutory rate, the group said in its 2QFY2024 financial results announcement on Wednesday.

At the same time, Ekovest’s finance costs also jumped 55.77% to RM96.35 million during the quarter under review, from RM61.85 million a year ago.

In addition, the group incurred a share of loss of RM1.57 million from an associate.

Revenue for the quarter increased marginally to RM297 million from RM294.5 million, supported by segments from the construction operations as well as property investment and others.

On a segmental basis, Ekovest’s revenue from property development tumbled 86.06% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM9.47 million, while revenue from its toll operations fell 36.97% y-o-y to RM59.7 million. Meanwhile, its food and beverages segment saw a 27.56% y-o-y decline in revenue to RM2.65 million, while the plantation segment’s revenue fell 10% y-o-y to RM30.29 million.

For the first half ended Dec 31 (1HFY2024), Ekovest reported RM46.98 million net loss against RM405,000 net profit in the previous year, while revenue fell 7.86% y-o-y to RM568.9 million from RM617.4 million.

“The loss for YTD (year-to-date) 2024 as compared to YTD 2023 is mainly due to the financing costs for SPE [Setiawangsa - Pantai Expressway] Highway no longer [being] capitalised in the financial statements since the full opening of SPE,” said Ekovest in the report.

Looking ahead, Ekovest said it plans to launch an upcoming property development EkoTitiwangsa by next quarter. It has successfully secured the necessary financial requirement for the project and has completed the required submissions to the relevant authorities.

On the construction segment, the group anticipates that the ongoing rationalisation of the construction scope under the Johor-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) project will have a positive impact on the group's future construction revenue and earnings. “In addition, the group is continuously working closely with the government on various infrastructure projects.”

On the plantation segment, Ekovest said its 66%-owned PLS Plantations Bhd will continue to work closely with its current and prospective business associates to improve the retail offtake rate of downstream durian products by offshore wholesalers and end consumers.

“Concurrently, upstream investment in durian plantation will continue to be a mainstay of PLS to complement its existing downstream business while waiting for PLS’s durian farm to be matured and fruitful in three to four years.

“This is in line with the long-term group strategy to expand and diversify into other businesses to reduce dependency and reliance on our existing businesses in construction and property development,” Ekovest said.

Shares of Ekovest closed down 1.5 sen or 3.06% at 47.5 sen on Wednesday, valuing the group at RM1.39 billion.

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