Friday April 30, 2010
Petra Perdana back on growth track
By IZWAN IDRIS
MD: Firm to take advantage of upturn in oil and gas industry
KUALA LUMPUR: Petra Perdana Bhd is “back on the growth track” after a bruising boardroom battle that erupted late last year hit profits and rattled investors’ confidence in the oil and gas contractor.
“The management team is back in place backed by the new board, and the company is well positioned to take advantage of the upturn in the oil and gas industry,” new managing director Shamsul Saad told a press conference yesterday.
But he was unable to give a clear answer on queries whether the shareholder dispute was buried and gone after the EGM on Feb 5 resulting in the removal of founder Tengku Datuk Ibrahim Petra, his wife and two others from the boardroom.
“We want to focus on the future,” said Shamsul.
The shareholders’ dispute, and steep decline in charter rates last year had severely crimped Petra Perdana’s performance as full year ended Dec 31, 2009 (FY09) net profit plunged by about two-thirds to RM29.32mil from a year ago.
Shamsul said charter rates had stabilised in recent months with crude oil at above US$80 per barrel driving up offshore activities.
“We expect the second half to be better than the first half,” Shamsul said, adding that the company would be “solidly in the black” for FY10.
Petra Perdana is expected to release its first-quarter results by the end of next month and will hold its AGM before the end of June.
At the briefing, executive director Datuk Henry Kho said the company was in the process of completing its internal restructuring.
The exercise includes the appointment of new members to the board, completion of the fleet renewal programme and a series of financial arrangement.
Kho had backed Shamsul in the shareholder revolt that ousted Tengku Ibrahim in a dispute over the disposal of shares in unit Petra Energy Bhd as well as the sale company’s vessels.
Petra Perdana currently owns only about 29% in Petra Energy after selling a portion of the latter’s shares, which means it can no longer consolidate Petra Energy’s results in its accounts.
“We will endeavour to work with the new shareholders of Petra Energy,” Shamsul said, adding that the company had asked for two board seats at Petra Energy to safeguard its interest.
Meanwhile, Petra Perdana’s current fleet stands at 23 vessels, with 14 new vessels and nine older vessels.
The company is expecting delivery of four new vessels by the third quarter of this year.
Shamsul said the company planned to dispose of its older vessels by the end of next year under its fleet renewal programme.