Paramount Corporation Bhd’s (PCB) 1Q23 net profit to ordinary equity holders of RM11.6mn came in below expectations, accounting for 16% of our full-year forecasts. The negative variance was largely due to slowerthan-expected progress billings.
YoY: 1Q23 net profit to ordinary equity holders more than doubled to RM11.6mn, primarily due to notable improvements in the property division.
The property division demonstrated a strong performance, achieving a profit before tax (PBT) of RM29.3mn in 1Q23, representing a 42% increase compared to the RM20.7mn recorded in 1Q22. This growth was driven by higher revenue recognition from ongoing projects.
The Co-Working division recorded its maiden PBT in 1Q23 at RM0.1mn compared to a loss before tax of RM0.3mn in 1Q22. The improvement can be largely attributed to the higher average occupancy rates.
QoQ: The net profit to ordinary shareholders in 1Q23 experienced a 39% decline compared to the previous quarter. This decrease can be attributed primarily to the lower contribution from the property division, as the performance in 4Q22 was positively boosted by the completion of several projects.
PCB’s 1Q23 new property sales grew 88% YoY to RM292mn, driven mainly by launches in the third and fourth quarters of 2022 (Sejati Lakeside 2 & The Atera). Additionally, PCB unveiled RM426mn worth of new projects in 1Q23, comprising serviced apartments in Utropolis Batu Kawan and landed homes in Bukit Banyan Sungai Petani. The current unbilled sales remained steady at RM1.4bn.
After adjusting our progress billing assumptions for PCB's ongoing projects, we reduce our FY23 and FY24 earnings projections by 14% and 6%, respectively, but increase our FY25 earnings projections by 4%.
Building on the strong sales momentum achieved in 1Q23, PCB has set its sights on launching properties with an estimated GDV of RM1.1bn over the remaining nine months of 2023. With the positive response garnered from recent launches, the management is confident in meeting the sales target of RM1.2bn.
With the ongoing recovery of the Malaysian economy, it is anticipated that the Co-Working division will deliver improved results this year. Management will prioritise increasing occupancy rates in the Co-Working division while exploring expansion opportunities.
Following the change in earnings, we arrive at a new TP of RM0.94/share for PCB (previously RM0.95/share), based on an unchanged CY24 P/Bk multiple of 0.4x. Maintain Buy.
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