Kuala Lumpur, February 19, 2009
YTL Corporation Berhad (ďYTL CorpĒ) today announced an 8.6% growth in revenue to RM3,363.8 million (US$929.2 mn, based on the prevailing exchange rate of US$1.00:RM3.62) for the six months ended 31 December 2008, compared to RM3,098.0 million (US$855.8 mn) for the previous corresponding period ended 31 December 2007. Profit before taxation stood at RM854.4 million (US$236.0 mn) for the first half of the financial year ending 30 June 2009, compared to RM918.9 million (US$253.9 mn) last year, with the decrease arising mainly from foreign currency translation differences. Operational performance remained strong, however, with the Group realising a 4.0% increase in profit from operations to RM1,313.8 million (US$362.9 mn) this year over RM1,263.7 million (US$349.1 mn) for the same period last year.
YTL Group Managing Director Tan Sri Datoí (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, CBE, FICE, said, "The Group had an active and productive half-year, embarking on two significant new acquisitions. In December 2008, we announced our proposed acquisition of a 100% stake in PowerSeraya Limited, which has 3100MW of licensed capacity, comprising about 25% of Singaporeís total licensed generation capacity. Together with its complementary multi-utility business and strong position in the Singaporean energy market, PowerSeraya will further broaden our utilities expertise and enable us to grow our utility business in the region. The Group also completed its acquisitions of approximately 26% of Singaporeís Starhill Global REIT and 50% of the holding company of the manager of the REIT during the quarter, and we can now look ahead to building up the Starhill Global brand and seeking yield accretive acquisitions of prime assets for the benefit of the REIT and its stakeholders.
"As reported last quarter, our utilities division has seen a decrease in earnings resulting from foreign currency translation differences this financial year, but profit from operations continues to grow, demonstrating the fundamental combined strength these businesses. Going forward, the further diversification of our income streams into the Singaporean power and REIT industries is well in line with our broader strategy, with the Groupís foreign operations continuing to provide the key drivers of growth. PowerSeraya will fully complement our existing portfolio of utility businesses in the UK, Australia and Indonesia, whilst our stake in Starhill Global REIT takes its place alongside the Groupís high-end real estate investments in Singapore. On the cement front, the division continued to perform extremely well, supported by increased overseas contributions. In addition to operations across Malaysia, the Group also owns stakes in cement businesses in China and Singapore."
The Groupís listed utilities division, YTL Power International Berhad, reported revenue of RM1,906.0 million (US$526.5 mn) for the first half of the 2009 financial year compared to RM2,041.5 million (US$564.0 mn) last year, whilst profit before taxation stood at RM530.2 million (US$146.5 mn) this year over RM657.9 million (US$181.7 mn) during the same period last year. The decreases were principally due to lower exchange rates applied in translating the earnings of the Groupís foreign subsidiaries. However, the divisionís foreign operations, including wholly-owned Wessex Water Limited, one of the most efficient water and sewerage providers in the UK, and P.T. Jawa Power, a 35%-owned associate company in Indonesia, the owner of a 1,220 MW power station in East Java, continued to register solid operational performances during the quarter.
YTL Cement Berhad, the Groupís listed cement division, achieved a 49.3% jump in revenue to RM950.9 million (US$262.7 mn) this year, compared to RM636.8 million (US$175.9 mn) for the previous corresponding half-year ended 31 December 2007. Profit before taxation grew to RM171.7 million (US$47.4 mn) for the six months ended 31 December 2008, compared to RM139.3 million (US$38.5 mn) last year. The growth in revenue and profit was due substantially to overseas operations and better selling prices.
Meanwhile, YTL Land & Development Berhad reported a fall in revenue to RM123.3 million and profit before taxation of RM2.8 million for the six months ended 31 December 2008, whilst YTL e-Solutions Berhad registered an increase in revenue to RM17.5 million and profit before taxation of RM4.2 million.
Shareholders Rewarded with Interim Dividends
YTL Power declared a 7.5% tax-exempt second interim dividend for the financial year ending 30 June 2009. Combined with the first interim dividend and share dividend distribution made earlier this financial year, this second interim dividend results in a gross dividend yield of 6.92% for YTL Power, for the financial year to date.
YTL Cement declared a 7.5% single tier second interim dividend for the financial year ending 30 June 2009. Combined with the first interim dividend paid earlier this financial year, this results in a gross dividend yield of 3.64% for YTL Cement, for the financial year to date. The book closure and payment dates for the interim dividends of both YTL Power and YTL Cement are 11 March 2009 and 26 March 2009, respectively.