BUSINESS TIMES features Nova

Sharen Kaur
June 11 2007

NOVA MSC Bhd, an application software service provider, expects to return to the black this year as it continues to improve efficiency, expand abroad and get new customers.

It achieved a RM1.08 million profit in the fourth quarter ended March 31 2007, from a RM7.39 million loss the year before. Revenue for the quarter was RM4.3 million against RM3.03 million previously.

For the 12-month period, Nova posted RM547,000 profit on the back of RM17.72 million revenue, as compared to a loss of RM9.81 million and sales of RM14.68 million the year before.

“Our results improved as we gained new customers in Singapore and Brunei, and had a lot of recurring income from maintenance and variation orders from existing customers,” chief executive officer Steven Chan Wing Kong told Business Times recently.

Nova, which mapped out a cost-cutting plan in 2005 to reduce redundancy in its workforce and lower operational cost, sells application software and provides domain-specific information technology (IT) services for the e-Government and healthcare industries.

Its main markets are Europe, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia. Malaysia contributes less than 10 per cent to its revenue.

“We want to improve our earnings significantly and are actively looking for IT partners in Asia, mainly in Brunei and in Indonesia, to sell our products,” Chan said.

He said Nova is also looking for new businesses in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and in Asia. Chan believes the ongoing expansion of the geographic reach of its product offerings will yield positive returns to its bottom line and enhance shareholders’ value.

“The kind of cooperation we do with our partners is in the form of joint ventures. This way, we are able to lower our marketing cost and speed up the marketing process abroad, and expand at a much faster pace,” he said.

Chan said Nova is also planning to acquire rival companies, to widen its business scope.

The company is also planning to ask for fresh money from its shareholders to fund new investments.

“We are planning a rights issue to raise some RM5 million, after completing our private placement exercise,” Chan said.

Nova’s clients in Malaysia are Putrajaya Corporation and the Penang Adventist Hospital. It hopes to penetrate all the hospitals in Malaysia over the next few years.

“We are currently bidding for some jobs and hope to double our RM16 million order book next year,” Chan said.

The Government is also looking for ways to reduce the processing time for applications, assessment and valuation of proposals, application of permits, inter-alia, submission of proposal, and management and compliance proposal.

Nova’s software enables the Government and the private sector to collaborate and carry out the transactions on the internet, to effectively reduce the turnaround time.

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