On lookout for new businesses
> Company in strong cash position, aims to expand sanitary ware division at the same time
KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Ban Huat Bhd (GBH), which has exited the clay pipes manufacturing business, is on the lookout for new business opportunities while expanding its sanitary ware division.
“We are exploring new businesses. After the sale of our land, we are in a better cash position. It may be a good opportunity for us to look into new businesses given this downturn,” corporate and strategic planning adviser Datuk Anderson Thor Poh Seng told reporters after its AGM yesterday.
He said the company has been reviewing proposals but, so far, none have met its criteria.
“Good business is not easy to come by already. Of course, it must be a business we are familiar with, not something we have totally no knowledge of but we won’t discount any sector so long as we feel that the business is able to give good returns to shareholders,” he said.
“The economy is not very good so there may be a lot of businesses or assets up for sale but on the flipside, business is getting tougher to operate so we have to be very cautious in evaluating what comes along. We are in a good position to embark on that because our balance sheet is strong. Currently we have close to about RM170 million cash,” he added.
Meanwhile, the company is aiming to grow its market share in the sanitary ware segment by expanding its product offerings. GBH currently distributes sanitary ware under its own brand as well as the American brand, Kohler.
“We are developing our own GBH brand by virtue of the fact that we have already entrenched our GBH brand in respect of the middle range. We will be coming out with new series and rebranding part of our product SKUs (stock keeping unit) to cater for more demanding consumers,” executive director David Lai Sze Pheng said.
He said the new products in the pipeline will cater to the mass market. GBH aims to maintain its focus on the middle and high end markets with the GBH and Kohler brands.
“The business is very fragmented. If you look at where we are, probably we are only about 5% of the total market. There’s a lot of local manufacturers as well as importers. It is a very fragmented market but I think we have positioned ourselves well over the last couple of years. We should be able to improve on our market going forward,” he added.
Commenting on the outlook for its financial year ending March 31, 2017 (FY17), Lai said it will remain challenging due to the slower economy, geopolitical situation and the slowdown in the global economy.
“Property is slow and our product depends a lot on the property market. It will hurt us but I think we will be able to hold our level in this competitive market. The pick up may not happen as the property market is actually relatively depressed.
“However, the retail market is actually there. Rather than buying new houses, people are renovating their houses so that is one market that we can tap into,” he said.