BRC Asia - UOB Kay Hian 2020-05-22: Gradual Return To Work


BRC Asia - Gradual Return To Work

  • BRC Asia’s 2QFY20 core profit of S$10m is in line with expectations, although the group expects an dverse impact from the circuit breaker period with a stop in construction activities.
  • Recovery would likely be gradual given the elevated numbers of foreign workers infected with COVID-19, as well as the safety measures in place for work to resume. However, the large proportion of public infrastructure projects is a good safety net.
  • Maintain BUY with a lower PE-based target price of S$1.52.

BRC Asia's 2QFY20 net profit up 86% yoy.

  • BRC Asia (SGX:BEC)’s reported 2QFY20 earnings of S$10m is in line with expectations, with 1HFY20 earnings of S$22.7m forming 68% of our full-year estimates. However, the group expects adverse direct financial impact on its performance due to the Circuit Breaker measures.

Revenue slightly lower.

  • Despite the higher sales volume, BRC Asia reported revenue of S$458.6m for 1HFY20, 2% lower compared with 1HFY19 due to lower ASPs.
  • The direct impact of COVID-19 during 2QFY20 mainly lies in production, as the group’s manufacturing operations in Senai, Johor had remained closed in conjunction with the Malaysian government's Movement Control Order (MCO).

Gross margins down, but held up relatively well.

  • Gross margins for 2QFY20 came in at 10.9% (13.1%, -2.2ppt q-o-q). The group continues to benefit from cost synergies from bulk raw material purchases. BRC Asia also recorded an allowance for expected credit losses on trade receivables. The impairment for the quarter amounted to S$2.9m, a larger quantum compared with 1QFY20.

Orderbook held steady.

  • BRC Asia’s orderbook stood at S$980m (1QFY20: S$900m). A larger proportion of contracts comprises of public infrastructure projects.

Expecting weakness in the next quarter.

  • While the group had obtained approval to restart its manufacturing operations in Malaysia on 4 May 20, operations are still very much demand led by construction project works which have been hampered by the Circuit Breaker measures. In financial terms, this would mean little or no sales revenue in Singapore for two months (April and May 20) of the next quarter.

Recovery likely to be gradual.

  • The number of foreign workers infected with COVID-19 remains at elevated levels. According to the Ministry of Health, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has embarked on a systematic plan to test all migrant workers in the dormitories to ensure that the workers are well, and can safely resume work when their sectors gradually reopen, while noting that it may take several weeks, going into June or July for testing to be completed.
  • The current situation still appears to be fluid and subject to changes, but on the current basis, management is eyeing a staggered recovery through Jun-Aug, while possibly returning close to normalcy from Sep 20 onwards.
  • Infrastructure projects such as MRT works would likely be leading the way for resumption of operations.

Receivables risk remains.

  • BRC Asia is watching its receivables, especially with regards to smaller construction establishments which may not weather the COVID-19 storm.

Lower earnings by 34% for FY20 and 17% for FY21-22.

  • We factor in close to minimal construction activities in 3QFY20, with a progressive recovery till 1QFY21. While recovery may be gradual from safe distancing measures at worksites, we opine that projects will likely remain intact given the large proportion of infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

Maintain BUY with a lower target price

Lucas Teng UOB Kay Hian Research | Llelleythan Tan UOB Kay Hian | https://research.uobkayhian.com/ 2020-05-22
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 1.52 DOWN 1.650