KUALA LUMPUR: Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB) has recorded a higher nett profit of RM40.76 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 (Q1 2019) compared with RM38.98 million in the same period last year.

Revenue increased to RM418.18 million from RM354.98 million previously.

CMSB group chief executive officer – corporate, Datuk Isaac Lugun, said the strong performance for the quarter was in line with the company’s projections and expectations of a full rebound as factors had normalised after the general election.

“The improvement in the group’s financial performance during this period was mainly due to the strong performance by its traditional core businesses, namely cement, construction materials and trading, as well as property development,” he said in a statement today.

The group’s cement division reported a profit before tax (PBT) of RM11 million in the first quarter, a 67 per cent increase from RM6.57 million recorded in the corresponding period last year.

“The improved performance was mainly due to higher revenue, as sales volume of both cement and concrete products increased by nine per cent and 70 per cent respectively, which is attributed to lower production cost,” he said.

The construction materials and trading division also reported a strong PBT of RM20.98 million in Q1 2019, up 128 per cent from RM9.19 million in Q1 2018.

“The increase in PBT was attributable to 20 per cent higher revenue, better gross profit margin of two per cent and a reversal of a provision of RM9 million,” he said.

Going forward, Lugun said CMSB expected the rebound in performance to continue and to be driven by the ongoing Pan Borneo Highway project and the state government’s increased spending on infrastructure.

“As seen in Sarawak’s record budget for 2019, RM9.07 billion will be spent on development which in part will fund the implementation of major infrastructure projects, including the coastal road and second link road, tenders which have started being awarded, water grid and electricity projects, and the state government’s push for rural development.

“This ensures that the state will be a pocket of increased construction activity in Malaysia for the next few years,” he added. – Bernama