September 25, 2008

Nagamas Maps Out Strategy to Stay Profitable

By Presenna Nambiar

NAGAMAS International Bhd will focus on staying profitable by becoming more selective in its choice of clients for its industrial division and by growing its aviation and property businesses.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Ong Jyh Jong said this is to ensure the sustainability of the company.

Nagamas posted a net profit of RM3.8 million on revenue of RM81.7 million for the financial year ended March 31 2008.

This is the first time the company has managed an operating profit in several years.

On whether the industrial division of the group would continue to be a viable business due to the high price of oil and thinning margins, Ong said, the matter will continue to be debated by the board.

Cost of sales grew almost in tandem with growth in revenue as Nagamas registered a 17.2 per cent increase in cost of sales, as revenue increased by 20.7 per cent in the previous financial year compared with the year before.

"What is important, is that our income is diversified into aviation and property, we cannot be dependent on an industry which has all these variables that we have little or no control over," Ong said.

He said the company's entry into the property and aviation industry was a calculated move, considering the expertise at the company's disposal.

Datuk Ng Kek Kiong, a new major shareholder of the company, is said to have vast connections in the property development industry in China, while Ong was formerly the managing director of Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd, the cargo division of Malaysia Airlines, prior to joining Nagamas in September last year.

Ong said besides the joint marketing venture for residential and commercial units in China, Nagamas is also promoting a 360ha industrial park in Guangdong, China under its property division.

"Our property division will be China-centric for the next couple of years because of the size of the market there and the connections Ng has there," he said.

He said the group is in talks with two airlines to become its sales agent to market and manage its cargo operations.

On April 16, Nagamas was appointed by Leisure Cargo Asia to be its sales agent market and manage the cargo operations for Air Berlin flights operating at Beijing and Shanghai.

In December 2007, ABDA Cargo Services LLC appointed Nagamas Enterprise (HK) Ltd, its aviation services subsidiary, as its sole general sales agent in China, Hong Kong and Macau for the sale of baggage and personal effects delivery services.

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