The Star Online – Tuesday, 8 September 2015
By: JACK WONG
KUCHING: Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCB), which secured RM200mil worth of new orders for power cables recently, expects further improvement in profit margins, especially from the sales of high-voltage cables.
Group managing director Aaron Toh Chee Ching said the company recorded higher margins of between 2% and 3% from the sales of power cables in the April-June quarter.
“The group’s order book for power cables now stands at more than RM500mil.
“We expect to secure new sales as negotiations are currently underway with several potential local and foreign buyers for the supply of various types of cables, including the 132kV underground high-voltage cables,” he told StarBiz.
Australia and Singapore are SCB’s key export markets for the 132kV underground high-voltage cables. The company’s other foreign buyers include those from New Zealand and the Middle East.
In the second quarter, Toh said the sales of power and telecommunication cables raised its contribution to 56% of group revenue of RM303.4mil from 22% in the second quarter of 2014.
The group’s net profit soared to RM11.9mil in the second quarter of this year compared with RM915,000 in the second quarter of 2014.
Toh attributed the strong performance to positive contributions from the newly acquired subsidiaries – Universal Cable (M) Bhd and Leader Cable Industry Bhd – which SCB bought for RM210mil last December.
The acquisition gave a major boost to the group’s manufacturing facilities and capabilities. It now owns eight manufacturing plants in Penang, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Sarawak.
SCB is Malaysia’s sole manufacturer of the newly launched 275kV underground power cables, with its production being commercialised. It was recently awarded a RM26.9mil contract for the proposed 275kV AIS Tanjung Langsat Industrial Estate switching station in Johor by Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
Last week, it bagged another RM19.1mil contract from Sarawak Energy Bhd for the design, delivery, erection and commissioning of Samalaju 1-Samalaju 2 275kV transmission line project in Bintulu. The company is targeting sales of RM1bil in power cables this year and hopes to raise its exports to between 30% and 40% this year from 20%. Among the new markets SCB is working to penetrate are Indonesia where the company is in talks with a prominent group there to export 132kV power cables to Jarkata, and to participate in that country’s power transmission projects.