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KUALA LUMPUR: MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd posted a net loss of RM34.1mil in the second quarter ended June 30 (2Q) compared with a net profit of RM13.5mil a year prior due to high input costs mainly raw sugar, freight, natural gas and weakening of ringgit.
“The widening net loss is mainly due to the prevailing very high production input costs driven by international raw sugar price increasing more than 50%, freight dry bulkers increase by 27%, weaker ringgit and higher refining cost of 29% which derived mainly from higher gas cost of 71% due to oil price increase,” MSM said.
The refined sugar producer saw its revenue jump 12.7% to RM624.2mil during the quarter against RM554.1mil posted last year, mainly due to an increase in the overall average selling price (ASP) for the group.
Its loss per share for the period stood at 4.85 sen against an earnings per share of 1.92 sen last year.
“The group recognises the current challenging environment amidst high input costs mainly raw sugar, freight, natural gas and weakening of ringgit. Other input costs such as packaging materials, wages and inland logistics have also increased significantly.,
“The group continues to engage the Government as a joint industry of sugar refiners request on our appeal for a much needed economic support,” MSM group chief executive officer Syed Feizal Syed Mohammad said in a statement.
Sugar is one of the controlled items under the Control of Supplies Act 1961. The coarse grain refined white sugar price has had a net increase of only 1 sen per kilogram and no subsidies since 2013.
Currently, the retail price for coarse grain white sugar is RM2.85 per kilogram.
MSM noted that in comparative retail parity, Indonesia's retail is approximately RM4.40 per kilogram and Thailand's at RM3.50 per kilogram even have the advantage of integrated sugar cane plantation with electric power generation income.
“The domestic and export markets are seeing stronger demands which provide growth opportunities and recovery of product consumption including sugar across consumer and industrial segments.
“MSM will ensure a consistent supply of sugar is made available to the market despite these cost challenges,” Syed Feizal said.