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DRB-Hicom recently posted its results for the financial year ending March 31, 2016, and it isn’t good news for the group, which registered net losses amounting to RM991.9 million. According to a report by The Star, the lacklustre result is largely because of Proton’s poor performance.

“The losses were attributed largely to the poor performance of Proton’s group with lower sales of motor vehicles amidst stiff competition, volatility in foreign exchange rates and weak consumer sentiment.

“The weak foreign exchange affected Proton’s raw material cost, the lack of new models during the financial period and reduced profit margins. In addition, Proton made provisions relating to certain non-recurring charges which had affected its bottom-line,” stated DRB-Hicom, adding that if the national carmaker’s results were excluded, the group’s performance was “commendable.”

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Despite the unfavourable results, DRB-Hicom is remaining positive and confident in Proton’s turnaround plans, which also involves a RM1.5 billion soft loan from the Government. This includes the launch of new models, beginning with the new Proton Perdana, and followed by either the new Persona or Saga. Proton is also set to introduce a new model made in collaboration with Suzuki by the end of this year, which is highly rumoured to be based on the Ertiga MPV.

Additionally, Proton will also have to provide a strategic plan to expand its domestic and international markets, and a special task force led by Pemandu CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala will overlook Proton’s transformation plan.

This same time last year, DRB-Hicom was in the green, with a RM300.19 million profit. Revenue during FY2015 totalled RM13.68 billion, with a pre-tax profit of RM501.83 million. Meanwhile, FY2016 results saw revenue dip by 11% to RM12.17 billion, where the company incurred pre-tax losses of RM821.27 million.