Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poh Kong: Performance to track nation's GDP growth

JEWELLER Poh Kong Holdings Bhd expects its performance in the current fiscal year to grow in tandem with the country's gross domestic product, which is projected to grow at 5 per cent.

The company reported a marginal rise in net profit and a 6 per cent rise in revenue for the year ended July 31 2009.

Executive chairman and group managing director Datuk Eddie Choon said the group is cautiously optimistic on its outlook for the rest of the financial year.

He said there are still challenges ahead, domestically and globally, but at the same time demand for gold jewellery is still there although people may buy less during uncertain times.

"We foresee growth... we are still expanding and we'll make sure we are efficient," he told reporters after the group's shareholders meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"We are also diversifying our products into different retail brands to meet customers' preferences," he added.

Poh Kong's first-quarter net profit was down 5 per cent to RM9.9 million from RM10.4 million a year ago. Revenue also declined by 6 per cent to RM152.4 million in the quarter ended October 31 2009, from RM162 million a year ago.

The group plans to open up to three more outlets in the current fiscal year. One each in Malacca and Cheras, while the third has yet to be confirmed.

The group has 95 outlets throughout the country.

Poh Kong directors, Dr Choong Tuck Yew and Fazrin Azwar Md Nor said the group has managed to declare dividend for its shareholders amid the global economic downturn, thanks to sales growth.

Most companies, however, faced negative growth and a lot of them are unable to pay dividend, they said.

For the financial year ended July 31 2009, Poh Kong announced a first and final single tier tax exempt dividend of 1.40 sen per share of 50 sen each.

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