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LATEST NEWS 18/08/2009

PROTON POSTS PROFIT BEFORE TAX OF RM64 MILLION IN Q1 FY2009/10


Better PBT vs Q1 FY2008/09 of RM59 million
Domestic sales volume decline by 2%
Market shares improves to 31%
Exora drives sales

Shah Alam, 21 August, 2009: PROTON Holdings Bhd posted a profit before tax of RM64 million in the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year ending March 31, 2010 (FY2009/10). The result was a slight improvement from the same period of the last financial year when it registered a profit before tax of RM59million.
The better performance was contributed by a better product mix even though there is smaller decline in Proton car sales by 2% compared with the total industry volume (TIV), which had contracted by 11% during the same period.
The strong sales from its newly launched Proton Exora had also helped the Group to increase its market share to 31% of the total industry volume in June, while improving the Group’s product mix.
For the first six-month period to 30 June, Proton sold a total of 69,977 units of vehicles which account for 27% of the total industry volume.
PROTON Holdings Berhad Chairman Dato’ Mohd. Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh said the results have shown that PROTON’s efforts to enter a new segment of the local car market had produced a desired outcome.
“We have seen a strong take up of the new Exora, an affordable MPV with attractive value-for-money features,” Dato’ Nadzmi said, adding that PROTON had now received a total order of 18,000 units for the Exora up to 15 August. It has also been receiving positive response in Indonesia following its recent launch there.
The three-month period had seen PROTON’s total revenue grow by 8% to RM1.85billion compared to RM1.71 billion during the same period last year. This is despite the decline in sales volume by 2% from 39,327 units compared to 39,888 units sold in the corresponding period last year.
Dato’ Mohd. Nadzmi Salleh said PROTON’s Q1 performance was also significantly better than the loss before tax of RM374 million incurred in preceding quarter which included an exceptional impairment of property, plant and equipment (PPE) and inventory write-down totaling RM360 million.
“The improved operating profit is due to the increase in domestic sales volume which grew by 12% over the immediate preceding quarter and improved profitability arising from the successful roll-out of Exora,” he said.
Commenting on future prospect, PROTON Holdings Berhad Managing Director Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said there have been positive signs of recovery in the global automotive industry with a clearer improvement in consumers’ demand.
“Our prospect for acquiring more domestic sales volume and market share is encouraging, driven largely by the sales of the increasingly popular Exora. Internationally, the Group will focus on introducing the Exora in the Asean region which will further increase its sales volume,” said Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal.
Dato’ Syed Zainal said it was important to note that although the outlook had improved, the Group was cautious above the sustainability of the global economic recovery and the volatility of the foreign currency and commodity market.
“We will therefore continue to expand into key markets, improve quality and intensify branding initiatives as well as critically invest in research and development activities for product refreshers and new models to generate higher sales volume,” he said
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