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Marco Polo Marine’s turnaround on track, better performance to come: RHB

Khairani Afifi Noordin
Khairani Afifi Noordin6/3/2022 10:26 AM GMT+08  • 2 min read
Marco Polo Marine’s turnaround on track, better performance to come: RHB
Improving Covid-19 situation in Taiwan is likely to speed up the progress of MPM winning new renewable energy projects. Photo: MPM
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RHB Group Research analyst Jarick Seet has maintained his “buy” call on Marco Polo Marine (MPM), with an unchanged target price of 4 cents as the company is on track for turnaround and better performance.

In his June 3 note, Seet says MPM’s 1HFY2022 utilisation rate has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and rises y-o-y, driven by strong demand from both the oil and gas (O&G) and offshore windfarm sectors. RHB expects utilisation rates to pick up to 70%-80% from the current 60% by the end of the year.

MPM’s charter rates have also picked up by 15%-20% y-o-y in 1HFY2022, due to stronger demand as well as the reflagging of one vessel to service the Taiwan offshore windfarm market. RHB expects charter rates to rise by a further 10% to 20% over the next few months due to limited supply and strong demand.

Seet points out that MPM has been actively diversifying and expanding its activities beyond the O&G industry. As of 1HFY2022, 40% of the company’s utilised vessels are working on offshore windfarm projects in Taiwan.

“We believe that MPM will expand its operations in Taiwan, and will likely look to increase its chartering fleet in this space and have at least 50% of its fleet servicing the renewable energy sector by 2QFY2023.

“The acquisition of Taiwan-based PKR Offshore will add two offshore service vehicles (OSVs) to the group’s fleet – taking its total size to 13 OSVs, of which five are servicing the windfarm sector in Taiwan,” says Seet.

See also: Analysts see 'resilient' results for MLT's 3QFY2023 although Citi sees 'negative' share impact on forex weakness

Improving Covid-19 situation in Taiwan is likely to speed up the progress of MPM winning new renewable energy projects. Seet believes that the continued recovery will be positive for MPM’s profitability.

“This, together with the catalyst of more new renewable energy contracts, leads us to maintain our ‘buy’ recommendation.”

As at 10.24am, shares in MPM are trading 0.4 cents higher or 13.3% up at 3.4 cents.

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