Paramount’s 4Q earnings up 48%, plans 5.75 sen dividend

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): Property developer and private education provider Paramount Corp Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015 (4QFY15) rose 47.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM14.9 million from 10.1 million, mainly due to the higher progressive billings registered on its Sekitar26 Business, a Shah Alam development.

A net provision of RM3.8 million on impairment of investment properties recorded in 4QFY14 also helped boost its latest quarterly results, its bourse filing today showed.

Revenue for 4QFY15, however, decreased 6% to RM148 million from RM157.7 million a year ago, mainly due to the cessation of external construction activities and lower progressive billings registered on its development projects in Shah Alam and Cyberjaya.

Paramount also proposed a single tier final dividend of 5.75 sen per share for FY15, subject to shareholders’ approval at the forthcoming annual general meeting.

Coupled with a single tier interim dividend of 2.5 sen per share paid on Sept 25, 2015, dividends for FY15 total 8.25 sen per share, compared with 7.5 sen per share in FY14.

For the full year (FY15), net profit increased by 8.3% y-o-y to RM67.7 million from RM62.5 million, as revenue grew 12.9% to RM576 million from RM510 million, with higher revenue contributions from both the property and education divisions.

Segmentally, revenue for the property division grew 13% y-o-y to RM427.1 million while the division’s pre-tax profit (PBT) increased by 23% to RM83.9 million, due to higher sales and progressive billings registered.

For the education division, revenue rose 13% y-o-y to RM147.9 million on higher new student enrolments, while PBT decreased by 12% y-o-y to RM21.6 million due to depreciation and interest charges on its new campus in Utropolis, Glenmarie.

At 3.10pm, Paramount shares gained 1 sen or 0.65% to RM1.56, for a market capitalisation of RM654.51 million.