Sino Hua-An's 1Q2010 revenue registered a growth of 20.1% to RM 373.6 million y-o-y because of higher average selling price ("ASP") of metallurgical coke and its by-products. In 1Q2010 ASP of coke was RMB 1,866 per ton vs 1Q2009 ASP of coke of RMB 1,630 per ton. ASP of crude benzene and tar oil which are oil-based and their prices are very much in line with international crude oil price, fared well and commendable. ASP of Crude benzene increased by more than 150% y-o-y and ASP of tar oil up by 75% y-o-y respectively.
On the other hand, coking coal (our main raw materials) also increased as well because of constrained supply experience in the market. Average purchasing prices of coking coal in 1Q2010 increased by more than 25% y-o-y. In view of reported news on regular coal mines explosion and accidents, the Chinese government has launched nationwide inspections on coal mines and they have been very strict in closing down those smaller (produce less than 300,000 tons per annum) and deemed dangerous coal mines. To ensure regular supply of coking coal in domestic market, China is likely to continue to import coking coal in near future. FYI, China is a net importer of coking coal and in 2009 China imported 34 million tons of coking coal.
Sino Hua-An was able to report a gross profit of RM 5.7 million (at gross level) mainly because of the contributions of our by-products as explained on paragraph 1.
Although in 1Q2010 Sino Hua-An still suffered a loss of RM 2.4 million (at net level) but its performance showed a tremendous improvement compared to a year ago in which the company suffered a major losses of RM 23.6 million.
Summary on financial highlights:
As at 31 March 2010, Sino Hua-An is still in net cash position of RM 34.5 million (No gearing since October 2007) with shareholders' fund exceeding RM 700 million. Net asset per share is RM 0.63. Average stock turnaround days', debtors' day and creditors' day are at healthy level (all below 20 days). Some update on our utilization rate of 1.8 million tons of coke capacity, in 1Q2010 our average running capacity was 90% vs 1Q2009 of 88%.
The global financial crisis has slowed China's economic growth and hurt global demand, causing over-capacity problem. In 2009 China produced 567.8 mil ton of crude steel, + 13.5% y-o-y although its domestic steel consumption was approximately between 400-450 million tons of crude steel. Naturally weak export market (US and EU market: unemployment rate of Spain, Portugal and Greece were recently reported as high as 19.0%, 10.3% and 10.2 respectively) has dampened China's domestic steel price upward movement. The recent temporary deadlocked in iron ore contract negotiations between top three iron ore producers i.e. BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto with Chinese steel mills may cause these suppliers to cut/ reduce iron ore supply to China. Therefore, in near future the constrained steel production is likely to push up the steel price, especially in 2nd quarter of summer month when steel demand is higher. Therefore, coke price is also likely to pick up in 2Q2010 because the price movements of steel and coke are both highly co-related. It is reported that the negotiations will be on-going as usual and does not cause grave concern.
The recent mid-April 2010 earthquake in Qinghai province did not affect Sino Hua-An's day-to-day operations at all in Linyi City, Shandong Province as Qinghai is located far away in south-western part of China. On a more positive note, the Qinghai earthquake definitely requires the demand of construction materials such as steel and cement for its reconstruction purposes. On the other hand, long steel products for house building in China are likely to be negatively affected because of the implementation of Chinese government policy in curbing housing price speculation activities and overheated property market in major cities. The State Council (or cabinet) on 14 April 2010 made the decision to increase 1st time house buyers' down-payment from 10% to 30% of property value , 2nd house buyer's initial down-payment to 50% of property value. However, auto sales (according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 1Q2010 total vehicle sales hit 4.61 million units or expansion of 71.8% y-o-y) and home appliances are expected to mitigate the situation as these products are expected to continue perform well thus demand for flat steel products are continue to be growing. Nominal retail sales rose approximately 18% y-o-y in 1Q2010 (a year ago was 15%) coupled with China's strong 1Q2010 GDP growth of 11.9%.