Sembcorp Industries (SCI SP) - UOB Kay Hian 2017-05-04: 1Q17 Poor Marine Performance, Utilities Track Expectations

Sembcorp Industries (SCI SP) - UOB Kay Hian 2017-05-04: 1Q17 Poor Marine Performance, Utilities Track Expectations SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES LTD U96.SI

Sembcorp Industries (SCI SP) - 1Q17 Poor Marine Performance, Utilities Track Expectations

  • SCI reported 1Q17 core net profit of S$73m, below expectations, on the loss from its marine division. Utilities’ earnings were down 27% yoy, tracking our expectations.
  • SCI is undergoing a strategic review of its businesses, with all options on the table.
  • The outcome of the review is not expected until 3Q/4Q17. We reduce earnings forecasts by 2-4%. 
  • Maintain BUY with a lower target price of S$3.66 after incorporating our lower valuation for Sembcorp Marine.


Core net profit of S$73m, below expectations. 

  • Sembcorp Industries (SCI) reported headline net profit of S$119m (+11% yoy) for 1Q17. 
  • Excluding one-offs including disposal gains from Cosco Shipyard Group (S$46.8m) and net write-back of doubtful debts relating to its China utilities operations (S$6.2m), core net profit was S$73m (-30% yoy). This represents 17% of our prior full-year estimate of S$423m, below expectations. 
  • Results were lower largely due to the unexpected loss from the marine business, as well as weaker earnings from the Middle East and the UK/the Americas, partially offset by higher land sales from its associate in Nanjing, China.

Utilities net profit of S$55.3m (-27% yoy). 

  • The utilities business saw weakness from China, the Middle East/Africa and UK/The Americas.
    1. Singapore: Net profit of S$34.2m (+15% yoy), helped by higher HFSO prices and largely due to better efficiencies from its centralised utilities contracts. No one-offs were reported.
    2. China: Net profit fell to S$22.1m (-14% yoy) due to absence of contribution from Yangcheng coal power plant (PP) in 1Q17, partially offset by a S$8m write-back of doubtful debts. Chongqing coal PP commenced operations in 1Q17 and broke even. On an equal comparison basis, excluding the effects of the write-back in 1Q17 and Yangcheng PP in 1Q16, core net profit for China operations was about S$14m (-10% yoy).
    3. The UK/The Americas: Net profit of S$10m (-28% yoy). Most of its assets reported minute declines that contributed to the overall S$3.8m decline. Earnings in 2Q17 are expected to drop as two plants in the UK undergo planned maintenance.
    4. Middle East/Africa: Net profit fell to S$9.5m (-23% yoy) as Oman operations were impacted by a rise in tax from 12% to 15%.
    5. Rest of Asia: Net profit up 53% yoy due mainly to recognition of construction income from the Myingyan plant under IFRIC 12 accounting rules.

India: Losses at SGPL and SGI, partially offset by earnings at TPCIL. 

  • SGPL commenced operations in Feb 17, and the losses (S$26m) were to be expected. There was also a partial refinancing charge of S$5.2m separately reported for 1Q17. SGPL expects to complete the remainder of the refinancing by 2Q17, incurring a total refinancing charge similar to TPCIL’s in 4Q16. Plant load factor (PLF) for SGPL was remarked to be 60% for 1Q17 (we computed it at 67%). SGI reported a loss of S$2m as it was in low wind season.
  • TPCIL reported a strong quarterly net profit of S$12m and PLF of 83% (Jan: 62%, Feb: 91%, Mar: 96%). The low PLF in January was due to 12 days of planned maintenance shutdown for Unit #1 and 6 days of downtime following a steam line problem for Unit #2. PLFs for TPCIL and SGPL for April (as of 30 April) stood at 95% and 79% respectively.

Marine: Core net loss for 1Q17. 

Urban development reported strong land sales of 85ha. 

  • This was helped by its associate in Nanjing, which booked a 42.6ha commercial & residential plot land sale during the quarter. SCI is hopeful of making more land sales going forward.


Utilities tracking expectations, marine dragging earnings. 

  • Aside from the surprise land sale from the urban development segment and the loss from the marine division, utilities’ earnings are largely tracking our expectations. 
  • Net profit including exceptionals of S$55.3m was 22% of our 2017 estimate of S$251m. 
  • Earnings from TPCIL and SGPL are in-line with our expectations for a weak 2017. 
  • The marine business should remain a drag on group earnings in the near term as we expect margin compression from the delayed Kaombo project.

Strategic review ongoing, likely approval and implementation by Oct 17. 

  • CEO Neil McGregor’s has undertaken a strategic review of the group as part of his on-boarding process as new CEO. 
  • The strategic review will take six months, with the exercise taking three months and board review/approval of plans to take another three months. Mr McGregor was careful not to reveal much beyond stating that all options are on the table.
  • The first hints of the review’s outcome are expected around 3Q17.


Reduce earnings for 2017-19 by 2-4%. 

  • We reduce our net profit forecasts by 2-4% for 2017-19 as we incorporate our revised earnings estimates for SMM. 
  • Small tweaks have been made to the utilities earnings forecasts as we incorporate earnings contributions from the 250MW India wind power project into our earnings (+0.3-0.6% to 2017-19 utilities earnings). 
  • Our new net profit forecasts are S$403m (-5%), S$559m (-2%) and S$597m (- 4%) for 2017-19 respectively.


  • Maintain BUY with a lower target price of S$3.66 (from S$3.78) as we incorporate the lower target price of S$1.43 (previously S$1.61) for SMM. 
  • Utilities earnings are valued at a blended 9.8x 2018F PE. SCI is a long-term utilities play that remains on track for its overseas business to deliver earnings in 2018.

Foo Zhi Wei UOB Kay Hian | Andrew Chow CFA UOB Kay Hian | 2017-05-04
UOB Kay Hian SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY Maintain BUY 3.66 Down 3.780