Foremost Malaysian player in ICT training and certification set to grow

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Charting a steady path … Prestariang’s CEO Dr Abu Hasan Ismail.

By Kamil Ridzuan

Prestariang Berhad, the largest provider of Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) training, certification and software license management and distribution in Malaysia, has grown leaps and bounds since its listing on Bursa Malaysia in July 2011.

Leveraging on its three core business divisions – education, academy, software and services – the company has seen growth in all three areas, contributing positively to its revenue and net profit.

It currently offers more than 50 certification courses from several technology and software providers and organisations which include Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Autodesk and Adobe.

And the Cyberjaya-based firm, which was incorporated in 2003 and currently employs 130 people, is poised for even greater growth, with investment banks bullish on its outlook, especially with the setting up of its boutique university and a petroleum training academy.

It has set up its own boutique university called University Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering (UniMy).

Prestaring is indeed poised for growth and is on a roll.

Prestariang charts out the next three years

Prestariang chief executive officer Dr Abu Hasan Ismail said the company has progressed so much even before its listing to become a formidable player in the country and the region’s ICT training and certification industry.

“In the next three years, Prestariang will be in its investment phase for future growth to build a mid to long-term business plans for recurring and sustainable income,” Abu Hasan told Business Circle.

He aims for the company to continue to maintain a strong cash flow and be a dividend yield stock.

“Prestariang will continue to reward shareholders with a minimum 50% profit pay out (it has paid out RM66 million in dividends to shareholders since listing) and be a Syariah compliant stock,” he said.

A look at its annual report shows that last year, Prestariang earned RM119.6 million in revenue, up 8.6% from RM110.1 million in 2012.

Net profit was up 13.2% last year, at RM42.1 million compared with 37.2 million in 2012. In a note to investors, RHB Research Institute has forecast the firm to make a net profit of RM51 million this year, stating that Prestariang is sitting on a RM72 million cash pile as at May 28.

Abu Hasan said the group also has high potential due to the recurring income stream from boutique university, UniMy, which the company hopes will break even by year end.

UniMY set up to meet ICT demand

UniMy is Malaysia’s first boutique university and focuses on providing specialised computer science and engineering education to meet the country’s demand for ICT-related professions.

Set up in 2012 by Prestariang Education Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prestariang, UniMy is targeting an enrollment of 500 students this year, before slowly scaling up to its full capacity of 3,000.

To help this along, Abu Hasan said a substantial shareholder will be injected to grow student enrolment and minimise loses, but added that this will only be announced by third quarter.

He also said the university will appoint a new vice chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Khairuddin Abdul Hamid, soon.

Petroleum Akademi Malaysia

According to Abu Hasan, Prestariang’s focus is on scaling up Petroleum Academy Malaysia, which was established in May to give training and certification to the country’s oil and gas sector’s young workforce, and which has huge potential.

In view of the upcoming Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) in Pengerang, Johor, Prestariang aims to train 2,000 students this year and 3,500 students in 2015 to fill an expected 70,000-strong workforce at RAPID.

It has allocated a capital expenditure of RM2 million over the next three years for the academy. Abu Hasan said they aim for the oil and gas training segment to contribute to 20% of growth revenue from 2015 onwards.

Supporting human capital development

Abu Hasan said Prestariang aims to be the leading institution that offers industry recognised and certified training programmes to support the human capital requirements of the oil and gas industry.

It also wants to meet the industry needs for skilled workers by collaborating with oil and gas industry players to offer relevant training programmes, train and retrain oil and gas professionals to support industry growth.

“Prestariang aims to be a recognised training provider that provides a pathway for employment into the oil and gas industry.

“Prestariang will continue to develop talents for the local market, and enhance human potential through lifelong learning,” said Abu Hasan.

With its investments in education, certification and training, Prestariang looks set to achieve its earnings potential.

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