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PETALING JAYA: Hup Seng Industries Bhd’s margins for the rest of its financial year 2022 (FY22) is expected to continue eroding on the back of higher input costs, says TA Research.
However, the group will be monitoring commodity prices, as well as evaluate and adjust its pricing accordingly amid the challenging operating environment alongside rising inflationary pressures.
Additionally, the resizing of major products will be an option when the need arises.
Hup Seng’s core earnings of RM10mil for the first half of FY22 (1H22) came in below TA Research estimates but within consensus forecast, accounting for 29% and 45% of full-year estimates, respectively.
The research house said the negative variation was due to higher-than-expected raw materials costs, which decreased the gross profit margin by 5.6 percentage points year-on-year (y-o-y) to 22.4%.,
On a positive note, group revenue for 1H22 increased marginally by 2.6% y-o-y to RM153.1mil, owing to higher selling prices.
“Domestic sales grew 2% y-o-y from modern and wholesale channels mainly in Sabah and Sarawak,” the research house said, adding that export sales improved 6% y-o-y mainly due to exports to Thailand and Maldives.
As a result of the increase in revenue and higher selling prices, Hup Seng’s pre-tax tax in 1H22 declined by 26.9% y-o-y to RM13.4mil, as higher raw material prices eroded margins.
The group has proposed a first interim single-tier dividend of one sen per share during the quarter under review, representing a drop from 1.5 sen per share declared in the same period last year.
TA Research has reduced its earnings forecast on Hup Seng to account for the higher input cost assumptions, with cost pressures expected to ease in FY23 and FY24.
Consequently, the research house reduced its dividend per share forecast for the coming financial years.
The research house is maintaining its “sell” call on Hup Seng. However, it reduced the target price to 72 sen per share from 88 sen previously.