WCT’s RM1bil target

huong@thestar.com.my | May 17, 2012

WCT’s RM1bil target

KLANG: WCT Bhd is optimistic about getting RM1bil worth of new contracts in the nine months ending Dec 31, 2012.

The property developer, engineering and construction group is presently bidding for some RM5bil worth of new contracts, with 40% of the tenders submitted being overseas jobs and the remainder in Malaysia.

“Our past record indicates our success rate at about 20%. That is why we hope to get the RM1bil.

“But you never know, records can be broken also,” said WCT chairman Datuk Ahmad Sufian after the group’s 31st AGM.

Ahmad said the tenders submitted for overseas projects were in the Middle East.

He pointed out that in the first quarter ended March 31, the group had acquired RM630mil of new contracts, consisting of a headquarters project for the International Trade and Industry Ministry in Kuala Lumpur and a medical centre in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

WCT has an outstanding construction order book of RM3.3bil, with half of the amount comprising projects in Malaysia and the balance in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. “This will last us for the next two to three years,” said Ahmad.

WCT deputy managing director Goh Chin Liong said the group was also on the lookout for highway concession opportunities in Malaysia. WCT has two toll highway concessions in West Bengal, India.

Goh said the group was looking into potential business opportunities regarding infrastructure projects in Myanmar and Indonesia.

“We have a team working on this. It is still at the initial exploratory stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, WCT is also expanding its hotel and commercial property division.

WCT corporate affairs manager Wong Yik Kae said the group’s Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya, which will be launched on May 23, is expected to contribute about RM10mil to RM15mil per annum to the WCT’s earnings.

“This hotel (the 250-room 4-star business class Première Hotel in Klang) should contribute about RM2.5mil to RM3mil per annum to the group’s earnings,” said Wong.

Another Première Hotel is in the pipeline, to be located next to Paradigm Mall.

Goh said WCT was still looking to acquire land in Johor, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, and the Klang Valley.

“The strategy for the group is clear. As and when we acquire new commercial land, you would most probably see us having another mall or even a new hotel.”

He said WCT’s remaining undeveloped landbank is about 1,000 acres.

“We are aiming to cultivate new growth for the company from the property development and investment and management division”, said Ahmad.

WCT expects to see a higher contribution from these two divisions over the next three to four years.

Non-construction activities are expected to contribute more than half of WCT’s operating profit by 2016, from roughly 36% currently, according to Ahmad.

“It is a significant change, from being a traditional B2B (business-to-business) group into a B2C (business to consumer) enterprise in new consumer-driven sectors,” he said.