KUALA LUMPUR: Gamuda Bhd's net profit fell 38.3% to RM43.29 million in the fourth quarter ended July 31 compared with RM70.2 million a year ago due to sharply higher operating expenses.

Gamuda said on Sept 29 that revenue, however, rose 10.68% to RM942.24 million from RM851.3 million. Earnings per share were 2.16 sen compared with 3.50 sen.

For the financial year ended July 31, its net profit fell 40.4% to RM193.69 million from RM325.07 million, primarily due to lower contributions from all divisions arising from the challenging economic environment. Revenue rose 13.4% to RM2.72 billion from RM2.4 billion.

On the 4Q results, Gamuda said its operating expenses rose to RM913.23 million compared with RM782.75 million a year ago. Income tax expenses were also lower at RM33.33 million compared with RM61.22 million.

On its construction division, Gamuda said the electrified double tracking railway project was slightly behind schedule due to late handover of land by the authorities.

Under the terms of the contract signed by the project company and the Government of Malaysia, all land should be handed over to the project company early this year but, to-date, only 88% has been handed over.

"The progress is expected to pick up pace in the next financial year when the balance of the land is handed over," it said.

On the new Doha International Airport project in Qatar, it said the Sinohydro-Gamuda-WCT joint venture was recently awarded RM740 million as additional works and settlement in respect of all the outstanding counter-proposals in respect of the variation orders, contractors' claims and scope changes.

"To-date the total contract value has now increased from the original contract sum of RM1.75 billion to RM3.27 billion," it said.

On the Yenso Park and sewage treatment plant projects in Vietnam, it said the projects were progressing well on schedule.

As for the property division, Gamuda said the recent two quarters' results have improved compared with the first two quarters of the financial year.

"The property market is recovering well as product launches such as shop offices in Kota Kemuning and bungalows in Valencia were fully taken up. Stabilised by an improving economic outlook and affordable interest rate environment, the property sector is gaining momentum and is expected to perform better in the next financial year," it said.