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Utusan Melayu may venture into property development

June 7, 2012

The company has leased its four-acre land to the service and manufacturing industries.

KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd may venture into property development in the future as part of its strategy to unlock the value of its current landbank.

Executive chairman Hashim Makaruddin said this would enable the company to earn recurring income in the long term.

The company, which owns four hectares of land in Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur, has leased the land to the service and manufacturing industries.

“We can turn it into commercial buildings like office buildings, condominiums and service apartments in the future,” he told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting.

Hashim said newspaper circulation and advertising would continue to remain significant contributors to the group’s revenue on a 60:40 ratio.

“Our Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo circulation is on the rise this year, with Utusan Malaysia’s circulation up at 171,000, from 151,000 last year, while Kosmo’s (circulation) has increased to 220,000 from 208,000 previously,” he said.

He said Kosmo, which began circulation in Sarawak early this month, was an encouraging product for the company.

“We have plans to market Kosmo in Sabah. Currently, we are in talks with several parties to find suitable printing partners for our new venture,” he said.

Commenting on the company’s poor performance in the first quarter of the year, Hashim said it was due to reduced advertisement revenue.

“We are hoping in the second half of the year, things will be brighter given the impending Euro Cup and general election as it will mean more advertisement revenue,” he said.

The company registered a pre-tax loss of RM8.679 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 compared with a pre-tax profit of RM1.369 million recorded in the same quarter last year.



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