Sino Hua-An's 4Q09 recorded a consolidated revenue of RM 317.7 million (+36.4% y-o-y) mainly because of marginally higher selling price of coke (ASP 4Q09: RMB 1,600 per tonne vs ASP 4Q08: RMB 1,546 per tonne) and better selling price of major by-products coupled with higher utilisation rate of our 1.8 million tons of coke production capacity (Utilisation rate 4Q09: 87%, 4Q08: 58%).
Although Sino Hua-An's 4Q09 PAT improved by 97.4% when compared with 4Q08, the company still suffered a marginal losses for the period of RM 2.2 million (4Q08: suffered massive losses of RM 83.6 million). Operationally, Sino Hua-An had actually made a modest profit in 4Q09. However, due to a one off asset write-off charged directly to the income statement consisting more than RMB 5.0 million when the company replaced some equipments for the water treatment facility to comply with the more stringent environment protection regulations imposed by the Chinese Government. The average purchasing price of raw material, ie coking coal eased off slightly by 5.5% during the quarter under reviewed compared with a year ago. The major factor contributed to the improvement of the company financial results (although 4Q09 still in the red) was because of the gradual recovery of the steel industry in China seen in 2009.
Summary on financial highlights:
As at 31 December 2009, Sino Hua-An is in net cash position of RM 24.4 million with shareholders' fund of RM 733.5 million or Net asset per share of RM 0.65. Overall in FY09, debtor's day, creditor's day and stock turnaround period are still healthy within 30 days.
In the midst of the overall recovery trend in the steel and coke industry, there was a perceived temporary oversupply of steel in the Chinese domestic market towards the end of September 2009. As a result, there was some downward pressure on the selling prices of metallurgical coke in the 4Q09, resulting the seemingly recovery trend witnessed in 3Q09 been somewhat disrupted. The steel rebar price in China (reached a peak of RMB 5,000 per tonne in August 2009) plummeted to RM 3,400 per tonne by mid October 2009, a decline of 32% within a period of 2 months. China entered the winter season in 4Q09 and as such the demand of steel and mining activities were usually slower during this period. Bigger steel mills were reported to have reduced their output starting from mid-October 2009 and annual maintenance works were conducted in November & December 2009 as these months are considered as lower demand season. However, there were evidence of the steel industry rebounding in December 2009 when the steel rebar price went up to RMB 3,600 per tonne. In 2009, China produced 567.8 million tonnes of crude steel (+13.5% y-o-y) and represents 47% market share of world total crude steel.
China's export turned upward in December 2009, resuming growth after 13 months of declines, indicating the economy is heading for full recovery. December 2009 export rose 15% m-o-m to USD 130.7 billion or to 16-month high. China's industrial production grew double digits at 19.2% and 18.5% in November & December 2009 respectively. Fixed asset investments rose more than 30% in 2009. China attracted USD 8.13 bil in foreign direct investment in January 2010, (+ 7.8% y-o-y). The FDI figures, which rose sixth month in a row, suggests that China's FDI is gradually recovering, albeit at a lower rates, as the world's third-largest economy rebounds after the global financial crisis. On international news, the international crude oil price recently hit more than USD 75 per barrel may suggest that demand of steel will likely pick up again in middle east region. In addition to expectation of better coke prices, the higher crude oil price also augurs well for Sino Hua-An as 15-20% of its revenue are contributed by by-products like crude benzene and tar oil (which is oil-based related ie when crude oil prices go up these by-products prices will tend to move in tandem). Lastly, the steel sector should outperform in coming months as steel price is set to rebound after Chinese New Year. Strong passenger cars sales and home appliances would definitely stimulate the demand of flat steel product in China in 2010 coupled with recovering of economies worldwide and expectations of heightened economic activities and external demand of steel. Industry players are anticipating that steel price and coke price to recover for most of the year but cautioned and mindful that there could be some shortterm volatility in their demand and prices.