Monday, August 12, 2013

JCorp Chief Denies Rumours KFC Sold To Chinese Company

Johor Corp (JCorp) has refuted claims that Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd boss Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo now owns KFC Holdings Bhd and QSR Brands Bhd following their recent privatisation by the state-linked firm.

“Those are just rumours,” JCorp president and chief executive Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said to a question from StarBiz, quashing allegations by several bloggers that Lim, who is embarking on an ambitious initial public offering of his waterfront assets in Johor slated for this year, had via a convoluted shareholding structure wrested control of the prized fast-food companies.

Some local blogs had speculated that the RM5bil takeover of KFC and QSR last year by a consortium comprising JCorp, private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and the Employees Provident Fund was aimed at putting them in the hands of Lim, even superimposing an image of the construction and property tycoon's face on KFC icon Colonel Sanders.

Kamaruzzaman also said JCorp had no plan to take its 59.6%-owned Kulim (M) Bhd private “at the moment”.

“But it depends on the circumstances. At the moment we don't see a need to take it private. All things considered, it (privatisation) should be driven by commercial reasons,” he told the media during the release of JCorp's 2012 financial results.

JCorp is Kulim's largest shareholder with 760.57 million shares, according to Bloomberg.

Kamaruzzaman, however, refused to say if there were more corporate exercises in the offing for JCorp.

“We don't line up assets for disposal,” he said, but added that the group would continue with its rationalisation.

For 2012, the Johor state investment company recorded a 60.7% rise in pre-tax profit to RM868mil from RM540mil a year earlier, while revenue was up 11.2% to RM5.64bil from RM5.07bil, boosted by top-line growth across all segments.

JCorp's results in fiscal 2011 were restated under accounting rules after its stake in New Britain Palm Oil Ltd was diluted to 48.7% last year from 50.4%, rendering the Papua New Guinea-based planter an associate.

If it had not restated the accounts, JCorp would have seen a 21.1% and 27.7% drop in pre-tax profit and revenue from RM1.1bil and RM7.8bil, respectively.

While lower crude palm oil (CPO) prices put a dent in its earnings, chief operating officer Zulkifli Ibrahim said this was offset by higher dividends from its investee companies and the property division, which did “extremely well”.

On its indebtedness, Kamaruzzaman said JCorp aimed to reduce its gearing to zero by 2022, in line with the maturity of its sukuk, adding that the firm would not be issuing another round of Islamic debt papers.

The group had some RM3.04bil in total borrowings at end-2012, down from RM3.57bil previously, against RM8bil in assets.

JCorp had last year issued RM3bil in sukuk wakalah to refinance RM3.2bil of debt that became due in July.

Kamaruzzaman also noted that JCorp, which obtains the bulk of its income from its plantation operations, expects the gap between soybean and CPO prices, about US$300 (RM930) per tonne currently, to narrow towards the end of 2013, with CPO trading in the range of RM2,700 to RM3,000.

Although he declined to reveal specific growth targets for 2013, Kamaruzzaman said the group would try to maintain last year's double-digit growth for its businesses, which include healthcare, plantation, quick-service restaurants, logistics, property, and hospitality.

Asked when KFC's operations in India will be profitable, Kamaruzzaman said a turnaround was expected in 2015-2016, by which time some 50 outlets would have been opened there. - Sumber

GR kata: Sokonglah barangan Bumiputera

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wa owang johor, jcorp ngan tempat tinggal wa(ulu tiram) mmg sinonim, ada bnyak estet jcorp(kulim) kat sini, skarang dh tanam nenas besar-besaran kat salah 1 estet, jcorp melayu punya, wa harap jangan kerana nk untung dan lebarkan margin keuntungan jcorp sanggup pulak jual aset2 dia ngan bukan melayu, sejarah jcorp(kulim) bnyak org tempat wa tau, dlm kocek wa..

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