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HIGHEST increase in turnover AT a time when airlines were struggling with sluggish economic conditions and lower passenger loads, AirAsia Bhd sprang a surprise by charting a more than 100% growth in turnover for its financial year ended December 2008.
The low-cost carrier is one of two companies on this list with sales growing more than two-fold, the other being KNM Group Bhd, at second spot.
Eight others had turnover increases of more than 50%.
As opposed to other airlines which had cut capacity and terminated underperforming routes, AirAsia did the opposite - it grew rapidly into new markets. And with aggressive promotion drives, it won market share from competitors.
Sentiment is also turning positive for the budget airline. It recently raised RM505.4 million in a private placement to pare down its debts, while efforts to boost ancillary income would improve profitability.
In the case of KNM, it expanded aggressively overseas. It acquired Borsig GmbH, a German engineering and industrial manufacturer, for RM1.65 billion in 2008, and this played a big role in its performance. Almost half of KNM's locked-in revenue came from Borsig's order book, which currently stands at about RM1.3 billion.
Third-ranked Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd's revenue for its financial year ended December 2008 had been driven mainly by the introduction of new models. With a net margin of close to 10%, the company is said to be one of the most profitable auto companies at a time of global crisis.
However, analysts forecast a tougher year for Tan Chong in 2009 due to lower disposable income and the impact of the strengthening of the yen against the ringgit.
The fourth spot is secured by, interestingly, China-based Sino Hua-An International Bhd. The company produces metallurgical coke, which is used as an energy source for the smelting of iron ore in the manufacturing of steel.
Others in the Top 10 are plantation stalwart IOI Corp Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd and SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd. DRB-Hicom and Berjaya Land, are reaping the fruits of their restructuring exercises. SapuraCrest is making a remarkable comeback, going by its order book which has surpassed that of its …