23/05/2024 05:31 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 (Bernama) -- MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024 (1Q 2024) made a big turnaround to RM41.71 million from a net loss of RM35.88 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue increased 54 per cent to RM906.61 million from RM588.39 million previously.

The producer of the leading national refined sugar brand ‘Gula Prai’ said in a statement today that the higher profit was from improved margins despite higher production cost which had increased by 15 per cent driven by higher NY11 prices, freight cost and foreign exchange.

MSM also noted that the higher revenue growth was attributable to higher overall sales volume, increased average selling prices and incentives received for certain packaged sugar sold in the domestic market.

The company also shared that it achieved a higher utilisation factor (UF) of 52 per cent in 1Q 2024, compared to 42 per cent in 1Q 2023 and additionally, there was an improvement in efficiency yield, reaching 96.3 per cent in the quarter under review, up from 94.2 per cent in the same quarter last year.

Group chief executive officer Syed Feizal Syed Mohammad noted that MSM had recorded a profit for two consecutive quarters, although the sugar industry continues to grapple with prolonged high input costs, with freight rates remaining volatile, further exacerbated by the Red Sea crisis since 1Q 2024.

“Natural gas costs also remain elevated, and raw sugar imports are impacted by the weak ringgit. However, raw sugar prices are at slightly lower levels due to improved production forecasts from Brazil.

“Nevertheless, the raw sugar cost remains much higher than the once-manageable levels of below 15 US cents per pound. Hence, there is a need to ensure the joint sugar industry remains sustainable to secure the nation’s consumption,” he said.

Amid these challenges, he said the group remained focused on expanding its domestic market share by widening market channels, increasing industry outreach and enhancing consumer reach points, leveraging steady demand.

Syed Feizal said MSM is also actively expanding its export market from the present 17 countries to 25 countries beyond Asia Pacific and South Asia into Africa, Europe and North America.

“The growth in the export segment aligns with our strategic initiative to optimise the headroom capacity of MSM Johor refinery and enhance overall group production volume. Our export revenues were over RM630 million last year with steady year-on-year growth,” he added.


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