Proton Q4 profits down 55 pc on doubtful debts
SUBANG JAYA, May 26 — Proton Holdings Berhad saw its profit dip 55 per cent in the fourth quarter mainly due to allowances for doubtful debts and inventory obsolescence said the automaker today.
The fourth quarter saw Proton record a profit before tax of RM37 million compared to the RM83 million in the third quarter which had included an R+D grant income of RM44 million.
Proton's profit before tax of RM285 million for the financial year 2010 which ended March 31 was up 150 per cent however as compared with a loss before tax of RM319 million.
Revenue for the year grew 27 per cent to RM8.23 billion thanks to robust sales of its three core models - Saga, Persona and Exora.
The company’s market share also crept up from 26 per cent to 28 per cent during the same period.
Proton will also introduce a new sedan model in either October or November to replace one of its existing “ageing” makes but declined to say which.
Proton group managing director Datuk Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said that sales this year are expected to grow faster than the previous year. He said that the group’s capital expenditure (capex) will be “a number you have never seen before” as Proton works to refresh its model line up. He added that it held steady at between RM700 million to RM750 million in previous years but could hit RM1 billion or more this year.
He said a study has been done on whether to merge Proton’s Shah Alam and Tanjung Malim plants and a decision will be made later this year.
Syed Zainal said that Proton will be focused on the Iran, India and China markets this year as well as rebranding itself as a more premium brand.
Other key initiatives this year include research and development in the area of hybrid and electric car models and transforming the culture of the company to make it more competitive.
Syed Zainal said that consulting firm AT Kearney has been engaged to look into improving the company’s processes.