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Malaysia's Sime Darby posts first quarterly loss

Malaysia's Sime Darby posts first quarterly loss

Malaysian state-controlled conglomerate Sime Darby on Thursday reported its first ever quarterly loss, saddled by delays and cost overruns at its troubled energy and utilities arm.
The company said it posted a net loss of 309 million ringgit ($93 million) for the quarter through March, reversing from a profit of 151 million ringgit ($46 million) in the same period last year.
The losses were widely expected after Sime removed its chief executive two weeks ago following an internal probe revealed massive losses in four key projects in its energy and utilities arm.
Malaysia's anti-graft agency has said it would investigate possible corruption in the four projects after critics called for a thorough probe to ensure transparency and public accountability.
Sime said Thursday the troubled division posted an operating loss of 1.02 billion ringgit ($308 million) in the nine months to March, but didn't provide a quarterly figure.
The operating loss included provisions in the third quarter of 450 million ringgit ($136 million) for the Bakun hydroelectric dam venture on Borneo and 159 million ringgit ($48 million) for its Maersk Oil Qatar project, it said.
Another 155 million ringgit ($47 million) provision was made for its plan to construct two tug boats and a barge for use in the Qatar project, and 200 million ringgit ($60 million) for its Qatar Petroleum project.
Total loss provisions for the four projects for the nine months through March reached 1.3 billion ringgit. Negotiations with business partners to recover costs were continuing.
"Current shortcomings in the division are being actively addressed and will be overcome. All efforts are being put in place to fulfill the objective of turning this division around," said acting Chief Executive Azhar Abdul Hamid.
Despite the problems, Azhar said Sime's other mainstay businesses in plantation, industrial, property and motors performed strongly in the nine-month period.
Sime is the world's largest oil palm company, with plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.


Updated : 2021-07-29 02:28 GMT+08:00