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PPAP works to soften virus hit

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PPAP reported a three per cent year-on-year drop in total revenue in the first five months of the year. Heng Chivoan

PPAP works to soften virus hit

Listed state-owned port operator Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) has doubled down on its commitment to enhance its business performance during the global health crisis by reducing expenses and postponing non-urgent investment, director-general Hei Bavy told its annual meeting on Friday.

He stressed that the Kingdom was not spared from the disruption of global economic activity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the face of the current situation, with the Covid-19 crisis still gripping Cambodia and large parts of the world, PPAP remains constant in its goal to minimise the impact to our business,” said Bavy, adding staff is working together to reduce unnecessary expenses and curb fallout from the coronavirus.

He added: “We recently launched some measures in response, including adjustments to our 2020 business plan, cutting down on unnecessary expenses, holding off on investments that are not currently essential and focus mainly on important projects to shore up growth.”

PPAP’s first quarter 2020 report said total revenue and other income was $7,603,877. The operator logged a decline in number of passenger boats during the period, but reported that all other business activities either grew or remained flat.

PPAP reported a three per cent year-on-year drop in total revenue in the first five months of the year, citing a notable dip in passengers and number of passenger boats and a four per cent fall in cargo and fuel oil throughput.

On the other hand, it posted a 15 per cent increase in volume of containers handled at the port during the period.

Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) vice-chairman Ha Jong-weon said PPAP’s reports prove that its business remains good despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is in a prime position to grow over the next quarters given how crucial import-export businesses are to the Kingdom’s economy, he said.

“The earnings per share of PPAP is still the highest among our listed companies. I am very optimistic on PPAP’s future business under our fast growing Cambodian economy,” said Ha.

PPAP’s stock price was strong in January, hovering at just over 12,000 riel ($3). As Covid-19 fears began to jolt the Kingdom in February, the price had dropped 13 per cent by month’s end, data from the CSX show.

It remained at low levels in March, hitting a 10,280 riel low on March 17, and commenced a rebound late in April. It closed at 11,700 riel on Friday, up 13.81 per cent over its Covid-19 era bottom.

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