Westports Holdings Bhd’s net profit eased to RM134.34 million for the second quarter (Q2) ended June 30, 2020, from RM166.32 million a year earlier due to a decrease in operational revenues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Group revenue fell to RM431.60 million from RM454.45 million in the same period last year, the port operator said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
Westports also declared its first interim dividend of 5.05 sen per share for this financial year payable on Aug 21 compared to 6.74 sen per share a year ago.
For the six-month period (H1) ended June 30, 2020, Westports posted a lower net profit of RM287.15 million versus RM306.22 million in the corresponding period last year.
However, revenue improved to RM905.07 million compared with RM869.64 million previously, attributable to construction activities arising from development work on a new jetty and Container Terminal 9 Container Yard Zone Z.
Deducting construction revenue, Westports’ operational revenue for H1 2020 fell marginally to RM862.14 million from RM869.64 million in H1 2019, as the lower container and conventional throughput was offset by the 13 per cent container tariff hike imposed from March 1, 2019.
In a separate statement, Westports said it handled container throughput of 4.80 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the first six months of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted economic activities across the world.
Group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said the company’s container volume’s modest decline for the January-June 2020 period was due to the initial growth momentum achieved in the first quarter.
“In the previous quarter, we cautioned that Q2 2020 would experience the most adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, given the various lockdown arrangements or movement restrictions across the world,” he said.
Ruben guided that the level of global consumption and economic activities were unlikely to resume immediately to the pre-Covid-19 environment in 2020 as the world adjusted to a “new normal” while the search for vaccines intensified.
“The adverse effects on employment and income levels will curtail consumption and the overall economic recovery; hence, the company cautioned that it does not expect container throughput to register an overall increase for the second half of 2020,” he said.
Moving forward, Westports said its container throughput was expected to decline this year due to ongoing adverse effects locally and abroad from the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as the subsequent social and economic adjustments to alleviate the risks of another recurrence.