KUALA LUMPUR: There is earnings excitement ahead for Bermaz Auto Bhd as the auto distributor launches more high-margin vehicles, especially for the SUV market and electric vehicles (EV).
"Both 30%-owned Mazda Malaysia Sdn Bhd and 29%-owned Inokom Corporation Bhd are expected to boost capacity, capitalising on exciting new CKD launches including the CX-8 for the export market.
"We expect both plant utilisation rates to jump above 50% over the next three quarters (vs 30% in FY2021) especially with the expected arrival of automotive parts from the recent re-opening of Shanghai Port," said Kenanga Research in a report.
The launch of the CX-8 - amid the rising demand for SUVs - is expected to intensify the current backlog of orders at a RM3,000-higher price point.
This would help to to safeguard Bermaz Auto's margin due to the increase in operations cost, said Kenanga.
"CX-8 accounted for as high as 15% and 30% of BAUTO total unit sales and revenue, respectively.
"Mazda’s current back-log orders is at 10k units, to be fulfilled by 1QCY23, further cementing its high profit margin position without the need to fork additional cost to absorb SST for orders before 30th June 2022," it added.
Meanwhile, Bermaz Auto also launched the all-new MX-30 EV CBU and all-new KIA EV-6 GT-Line AWD CBU.
According to Kenanga, there will be limited unit allocation for the first batch to test the response to a larger CBU volume or a shift towards CKD production, which entails better margin.
Kenanga, which has an "outperform" recommendation on Bermaz Auto, said there is a growing awareness of EVs with sales volume in the latter jumping 120% in 2021.
The research firm has an unchanged target price of RM2.30 on Bermaz Auto based on 15 times 2023 earnings per share.