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PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD
Incorporated in Malaysia
13 November 2003
FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE THIRD QUARTER ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2003
* Third quarter 2003 toll collection up 5.1%
* Nine month pretax profit (before exceptional items) up 6.9% to RM539.6m
* Year-to-date to end-September 2003 EPS increased to 10.75sen per share
* Traffic volume for 2003 to end-September 2003 increased by 4.6%
* Third quarter traffic volume increased 5.1% in 2003 over the same period in 2002
* Operational integration between PLUS, ELITE and LINKEDUA effective 1st September 2003
Third Quarter Monthly Traffic Breakdown
* July - 928.8m PCU-km (-1.3% y-o-y)
* August – 931.0m PCU-km (+5.7% y-o-y)
* September – 1,055.6m PCU-km (10.9% y-o-y)
Commenting on the results, Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said:
“The third quarter results were within our expectations. The traffic growth momentum is envisaged to continue in the fourth quarter, as was experienced in previous years, due to the year-end school holidays and the festivals of Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Christmas and New Year, all being celebrated during this quarter.”
PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD
Incorporated in Malaysia
YEAR-ON-YEAR TRAFFIC GROWTH OF 4.6%
* FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Year-on-year traffic growth of 4.6% For the nine months ended 30 September 2003, PLUS Expressways Berhad (“PLUS Expressways”) recorded a year-on-year traffic growth of 4.6% as compared with the same period in 2002. This is in line with Malaysia’s real GDP growth of 4.5% for the first half of 2003 which is significantly stronger than the 2.6% recorded during the corresponding period in 2002.
It is also noteworthy that traffic growth for the month of September 2003 has achieved a double digit growth of 10.9% compared to September 2002.
The improving traffic growth has led to a RM46.8 million increase in revenue from toll collection of RM1,054.7 million for the year-to-September 2003, from RM1,007.9 million for the same period last year.
Total revenue for the nine months under review of RM1,151.8 million was RM66.1 million or 5.4% lower than the revenue of RM1,218.0 million for the same period last year, due to deductions for notional tax on tax exempt dividends and the notional interest on the Government Support Loan.
Pre-tax profit grew by 6.9% year-on-year Notwithstanding the lower revenue, profit before tax for the nine months ended September 2003 increased by 6.9% to RM539.6 million against the pre-tax profit before exceptional items of RM504.6 million for the same period in 2002. The improvement was mainly attributable to the reduction by RM128.0 million of finance costs, as a result of lower finance charges on BAIDS and BBA Serial Bonds, as well as significant reduction in debts level after the completion of the debt restructuring and refinancing schemes in 2002.
EPS improved Earnings per share increased to 10.75 sen for the nine months ended September 2003 from 10.09 sen for the corresponding period in 2002.
Quarter-on-quarter toll collection improved by 5.1% On a quarterly basis, the Group’s third quarter toll collection increased by RM10.7 million or 3.1% compared with the second quarter of 2003 and was RM17.5 million or 5.1% higher than the third quarter of 2002.
Profit before tax for the third quarter of 2003 rose by RM12.3 million to RM189.3 million from RM177.0 million in the second quarter of 2003.
Strengthening Shareholders Funds The Group’s shareholders funds has strengthened to RM2.9 billion as at 30 September 2003 as compared with RM2.5 billion as at 31 December 2002, resulting in an improved net tangible asset per share of RM0.56.
Syariah approved securities With effect from 31 October 2003, PLUS Expressways was classified by the Syariah Advisory Council of the Securities Commission as Syariah compliant approved securities.
Better financial results for current year With the anticipated overall real GDP growth for year 2003 of 4.5%1, the Group is confident that its financial performance for the year 2003 will continue to improve. Commenting on the Group results, PLUS Expressways’ Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said “The third quarter results were within our expectations. The traffic growth momentum is envisaged to continue in the fourth quarter, as was experienced in previous years, due to the year-end school holidays and the festivals of Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Christmas and New Year, all being celebrated during this quarter.”
Moving forward The successful implementation of the integration of the operations of the expressway companies within the United Engineers (Malaysia) Berhad Group with effect from 1 September 2003 provides a credible platform for the Group to further explore new business opportunities.
1 Source : Economic Report 2003/2004
* ABOUT PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD
PLUS Expressways Berhad (“PLUS Expressways”) was incorporated in Malaysia as a public company on 29 January 2002 under the Companies Act (1965). PLUS Expressways completed the acquisition of Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Berhad (“PLUS”) on 31 May 2002 through an exchange of shares whereby PLUS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of PLUS Expressways and was listed on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on 17 July 2002.
PLUS's core business consists of the operation and maintenance of the Expressways and certain ancillary facilities such as service areas along the Expressways. The Expressways comprise:
* the North-South Expressway, a 797-km expressway extending from the border of Thailand in the north to the border of Singapore in the south;
* the New Klang Valley Expressway, a 35-km expressway running between Kuala Lumpur and the North Klang industrial and urban area; and
* a 16-km section of Federal Highway Route 2 connecting the industrial and urban areas of Subang and Klang.
Toll compensation arrangement
Pursuant to the toll compensation arrangement as agreed between PLUS and the Government in 2002, the gross compensation receivable from the Government is adjusted by deducting the amount of notional tax on tax exempt dividend and notional interest on the Government Support Loan prior to its recognition as revenue.
Integration of operations of the expressways companies
Pursuant to the integration of the operations of expressway companies within the United Engineers (Malaysia) Berhad Group ("Integration"), on 26 August 2003, PLUS Expressways entered into Operation Service Agreements (“OSAs”) with PLUS, Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd (“ELITE”) and Linkedua (M) Bhd (“LINKEDUA”) (collectively known as “AssetCos”), whereby PLUS Expressways will provide operational and support services to these AssetCos upon and subject to the terms and conditions of the OSAs.
ELITE operates and maintains the North-South Expressway Central Link.
LINKEDUA operates and maintains the second bridge crossing between Tuas in Singapore and Tanjung Kupang in Johor, Malaysia and the toll road linking the second crossing to the North-South Expressway.