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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     August 24,  2016  

PPSP reports decline in revenue, net profit

Industrial park operator Phnom Penh SEZ, which became the fourth company on Cambodia’s stock exchange when it listed in May, released its audited 2015 annual report and 2016 half-year financials yesterday, reporting declines in revenue and net profit over the past 18 months on slower land sales.

The company’s much-delayed 2015 annual report showed revenue fell by nearly 30 per cent to $16.4 million in 2015, compared to $23.3 million a year earlier. The bulk of this loss was attributable to a decline in sales of industrial plots in its 357-hectare special economic zone (SEZ) on the outskirts of the capital. In 2014, the company sold 37 hectares valued at $21 million, while last year it sold just 28 hectares for $13.6 million.

Meanwhile, the condensed unaudited statement for the first half of this year showed revenue at $4.5 million after plunging over 50 per cent from the same period in 2015. Land sales almost dried up, with revenue plummeting from $7.6 million in the first half of 2015 to just $562,000 during the first six months of 2016. Just 4 hectares were sold during this time.

Phnom Penh SEZ, which trades on the Cambodian Securities Exchange (CSX) as PPSP, raised $8.2 million during its initial public offering in May. The company has said it will use the funds to expand its SEZ in the capital, develop a new industrial park on the Thai border near Poipet, and pay off bank debts.

The industrial park operator’s total sellable land bank increased to 149 hectares as of June 30. The company also generates revenue from the lease of land and provision of services to industrial park tenants.

The company’s diluted earnings per share declined from $0.071 in the middle of 2015, to $0.005 as of June 30 this year. Ahead of its listing, Phnom Penh SEZ promised to distribute at least a fifth of its net profit to its shareholders as an annual dividend.

Fong Nee Wai, the company’s chief financial officer, stressed that while the half-year 2016 financials show a decline in profit, this should not be a reason for investors to panic.

“The company is still making a profit and unless we start losing money, investors shouldn’t be concerned,” he said. “We are still talking to clients that want to set up in the special economic zone and hopefully more will come by the end of this year.”

Nee Wai denied the listed company was late in publicly disclosing its financial statements, insisting that Phnom Penh SEZ had worked closely with the capital market regulator, following all required regulations and timelines.

Svay Hay, CEO of brokerage firm Acleda Securities, said income-approach investors could react to the decline in earnings, causing the share price of PPSP to drop. However, the lower share price could end up attracting more long-term investors.

“Value investors shall invest more while the price fluctuates at a lower trend after movement,” he said.

PPSP closed trading the day before yesterday before the issuance of the financial statements at 2,640 riel, or $0.64, per share.

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