Monday, June 25, 2007

Malaysia's Loh & Loh eyes civil engineering projects in Vietnam

Loh & Loh eyes projects in Vietnam and Middle East

KUALA LUMPUR: Loh & Loh Corp Bhd is eyeing lucrative water projects in the Middle East as well as civil works in Vietnam.

Expecting the group to make inroads into its maiden overseas markets by year-end, managing director Jason Loh said it would set up offices and scout for partners and sponsors to secure mostly water projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

"The water projects there are huge but they come with a lot of risks too,'' he said after Loh & Loh's annual general meeting on Monday.

Loh said water projects were one of the group's main expertises that also include railways projects and it would be leveraging on that strength to build it reputation abroad.

Previously, the group had been eyeing a number of civil and water projects abroad including those in India but none materialised.

Its foray into China's operation and maintenance was also unsuccessful.

"We don’t discount turning back to China. We always want to be in places nearby such as in China Vietnam and Indonesia," Loh said.

He added that in Vietnam, the group would be mainly involved in the construction of buildings and bridges.

At present, Loh & Loh has an order book valued at RM500mil that will keep it busy in the next 18 months and plans to top up another RM500mil worth of new projects this year.

For the year ended Dec 31 2006, the group's net profit had more than doubled to RM12.68mil from RM5.2mil previously, mainly due to higher deliveries of projects last year.

Revenue grew 55% last year from RM138.39mil to RM214.63mil, of which, according to Loh, 70% was driven by water projects, followed by buildings construction and other civil jobs.