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MAHB Announces Record Dividend Payout

Petaling Jaya, 28 February - Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) today reported a record profit before taxation (PBT) of RM403.64 million for its financial year ended 31 December 2007, a significant RM140.39 million or 53.33% increase from RM263.25 million reported last year. This profit level even surpassed the stretched target set by the company.

The improvement was mainly due to higher overall revenue, better cost management and a one-off write back in the provision for pension fund amounting to RM34.4 million.

Earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved by 42.55% or RM163.33 million to RM547.16 million compared to last year.

Total revenue grew 20.74% to RM1,384,71 million compared to RM1,146.84 million in 2006. The increase in revenue was due to an 18.6% growth in airport operations and 34.2% growth in non-airport operations.

The growth in airport operations was contributed mainly by a 17.4% increase in aeronautical revenue coming from the newly imposed Passenger Security Service Charges (PSSC) and a strong growth of 10.47% in international passenger movements. The higher revenue was also attributed to a 16.49% growth in retail and 112.62% in agriculture.

Managing Director of MAHB, Dato' Seri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, said: "The good result is the outcome of our unrelenting efforts to become a high performance company. Revenue grew ahead of passenger growth above the previous year's corresponding period with increases in almost every segment of our business and this was contributed by improved yields from our airport services segment, retail and agriculture.

"Our non-aeronautical business continued to outperform the aeronautical business by contributing 54.27%, or RM751.47 million, to group revenue and this is in line with our long term plan to further grow this branch of our business.

"Following our improved financial performance, MAHB had declared an interim net dividend of 2.92 sen per ordinary share and is proposing a final net dividend of at least 9.5 sen per ordinary share. MAHB had earlier announced a dividend policy of at least 50% of MAHB's after tax profit and minority interest, subject to availability of distributable reserves.

"This reflects our confidence in the Group's financial performance as we have clearly exceeded the headline KPIs we had set ourselves. For example, we had set an EBITDA target of RM441 million and ROE target of 6.80% for 2007 but in fact achieved RM547.16 million and 9.35% respectively."

PBT for Q4 2007 (October - December 2007) improved by 83.54% compared to the same period in 2006. Three months revenue for Q4 2007 also grew 23.50% or RM68.50 million following the growth in passenger numbers by 11.66% and the newly imposed PSSC, effective 15 January 2007.

Total three months revenue improved RM68.50 million to RM359.97 million from RM291.48 million reported for the same period in 2006 following a 16.94% growth in airport services, 12.75% in retail and 172.77% in agriculture.

The airport services segment revenue improved by RM142.44 million [Q4: RM32.94 million] or 19.27% [Q4: 16.94%] as a result of passenger growth of 6.40% [Q4: 11.66%] and the newly imposed PSSC of RM3 and RM6 per passenger for domestic and international flights respectively.

The airport operations also saw a 20% growth in non-aeronautical revenue mainly due to the increase in retail and commercial revenue from 12 months operations of LCCT in 2007 (compared to nine months in 2006), newly opened outlets and higher passenger numbers. Non-aeronautical revenue contributed a RM48.63 million increase to the overall airport operations revenue.

The commercial revenue was also higher in the financial year-to-date due to credit notes amounting to RM25.49 million issued to certain Private Sector Project's in the previous financial year pursuant to the finalization of debt settlement agreement between the parties concerned.

Revenue from retail business grew by RM40.91 million [Q4: RM8.82 million] or 16.49% [Q4: 12.75%] derived from retail activities from 12 months operations of LCCT in 2007 compared to 9 months in 2006, newly opened outlets and the higher passenger numbers.

The agriculture segment recorded an improvement of RM25.89 million [Q4: RM9.2 million] or 112.62% [Q4: 172.77%] from the previous year's corresponding period as a result of higher total crop harvested and higher Fresh Fruit Bunch price.

Growth in the event management segment revenue of RM6.58 million [Q4: RM0.98 million] was due to the higher revenue generated from the Formula One (F1) event.

Operating expenses were only 11.36% higher from the previous year's corresponding period [Q4:0.51%], due to higher depreciation as a result of capitalisation of airport development projects, additional security staff costs and quarterly review of provision for doubtful debts.