KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Ceramic and tile manufacturer Yi-Lai Bhd, which saw businessman Au Yee Boon emerge as the largest shareholder in July last year and announced its diversification into the information technology (IT) solutions business as part of its turnaround plans in September, has returned to profitability in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20) after suffering losses since FY17.
For FY20, the group recorded a net profit of RM10.15 million compared with a net loss of RM5.8 million in the previous year, due mainly to a one-off gain on disposal of a leasehold land. This was despite recording a lower revenue of RM91.38 million, down 22.6% from RM117.99 million in FY19.
The gain on disposal also resulted in a 6,116.8% surge in its net profit to RM12.19 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 (4QFY20) from RM196,000 a year ago. Quarterly revenue came in lower at RM23.34 million compared with RM31.53 million in 4QFY19 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had resulted in disruptions to its businesses.
Last December, Yi-Lai had disposed of a 5,772.3 sq m piece of land in Petaling Jaya, Selangor for RM15 million, which resulted in a gain of RM9.79 million.
On FY21 prospects, Yi-Lai said it remains cautious on the outlook.
In a statement today, Au, who is Yi-Lai’s executive director, said he is confident that the group’s earnings momentum will be maintained in FY21 as the business transformation strategies have started to yield positive results, such as the diversification into the IT solutions sector.
“The group is also in the midst of changing its name to YB Ventures Bhd and will undertake a 2-for-3 bonus share exercise, which was approved by Bursa Malaysia on Feb 18,” he added.
In a September 2020 interview, Au told The Edge Malaysia that he was expecting its diversification strategy to help turn around Yi-Lai as early as FY21. At the time, he said the group was looking for new investment opportunities, preferably in the IT-related industry. The financially strong Yi-Lai has a debt-free balance sheet, backed by cash and bank balances of RM54.97 million as at end-December 2020.
Yi-Lai shares closed down two sen or 1.67% at RM1.18 today, bringing a market capitalisation of RM171.77 million. A total of 5.05 million shares were traded.