Beng Kuang Marine Charts Transformation Journey

Date: February 9, 2022

Beng Kuan CEO

Convinced that the best is yet to come, banking and finance veteran Yong Jiunn Run has made it his life’s goal to achieve his optimum potential.

“Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theory of self-actualisation argues that individuals are motivated to maximise their personal development and growth, and this concept lies at the top of the Maslow hierarchy of needs,” said the Chief Executive Officer of oil and gas solutions provider Beng Kuang Marine Ltd.

“For myself, I continue to strive to become everything that I am capable of becoming. As Maslow said, “One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities”. I believe I’ve not realised my full potential yet.”

A Bachelor of Arts graduate in Economics from the National University of Singapore, Yong has spent nearly three decades of his career in the financial services industry.

He held senior management roles in enterprise and commercial banking with CIMB Bank and OCBC Bank, with oversight of operations across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. In June 2021, he was appointed CEO of Beng Kuang Group.

“My banking journey has equipped me with the necessary skills to chart the Group’s turnaround strategy,” he said. “This includes shifting away from lumpy investments and piling up cash reserves to take on market and economic cycles, cultivating a strong risk management culture, as well as strengthening corporate governance in day-to-day and investment activities.”

Founded in 1994 and listed on SGX since October 2004, Beng Kuang Group aims to be the “Preferred Partner” in providing total solutions for the marine and offshore industries. It has operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Group’s four key business segments are: Infrastructure Engineering, Corrosion Prevention, Supply & Distribution and Shipping. As a testament to its commitment to quality, health and safety, many of its subsidiaries have been accredited with the relevant ISO certifications.

Amidst rising challenges in the oil and gas industry, the Group is focused on stabilising and strengthening its business operations, and has undertaken a strategic review of its business model.

“Our immediate focus is on restructuring and transformation, as well as refining our value propositions,” Yong pointed out.

“Our additional priorities are cost-cutting and deleveraging initiatives, particularly in key areas like lease rentals and loans, while focusing on monetising fixed assets and high-potential business segments to create new growth catalysts.”

Signs of Recovery

The Group is looking to revamp and divest unprofitable operations that continue to drag on its cashflow, while seeking to incubate new joint ventures, especially at its 30-hectare yard in Batam, to boost efficiency and asset utilisation rates.

It will also focus its resources on high-potential business segments, such as its 51%-owned subsidiary, Asian Sealand Offshore & Marine (ASOM). Specialising in asset integrity solutions, ASOM provides a wide range of on-site services such as repairs, engineering services, maintenance and decommissioning.

ASOM’s key customers are mainly operators and asset owners of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platforms and Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessels.

“Developing an asset-light and service-centric approach provides greater financial flexibility, and allows us to scale promising propositions within our business model,” Yong added.

“We’ve seen signs of turnaround with our strong revenue growth in the first nine months of 2021, which reinforces our confidence in the strategies we have implemented.”

For 9M 2021, the Group’s revenue rose 34% to S$41.2 million, with gross profit jumping 241% to S$5.0 million and adjusted EBITDA surging 546% to S$2.5 million. With a substantial amount of fixed assets in the balance sheet, the Group registered a depreciation expense (non-cash component) of S$6.2 million over the period. It also generated a net cash inflow of S$1.9 million from operating activities during 9M 2021.

To accelerate its growth plans and strengthen its balance sheet, the Group announced a placement exercise of 37.2 million new ordinary shares at S$0.09 apiece in October 2021 to raise gross proceeds of approximately S$3.4 million.

New Growth Catalysts

In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a boost to the Group’s transformation efforts, Yong noted.

“COVID has presented us with the opportunity to rework, reposition and revamp our business model, and we’re now talking to various technology partners to improve processes, as well as reshape our core operations. These initiatives will lower our cost structure and improve our speed-to-market,” he added.

“We’re evaluating new business ventures that are aligned with sustainability, which will provide fresh growth catalysts for the Group. We’re confident of becoming more agile, with a stronger business foundation that creates sustainable, long-term value for our stakeholders.”

In November 2021, Beng Kuang Group unveiled a specialised dredging equipment, designed by its in-house team, for offshore tin mining activities. Installed on barges, the equipment has been tested for operational efficiency in various offshore tin mining sites in Indonesia.

With this equipment, the Group aims to develop new value propositions for offshore tin mining activity and create new revenue streams

“There are strong demand drivers in the global tin industry, and while there are significant tin ore deposits within Indonesia’s offshore regions, there are various operational challenges involved in such offshore mining activity,” Yong said.

“Leveraging our technical expertise from multiple business areas, we’re excited to showcase how our specialised dredging equipment, technology and services can enable tin concession owners in Asia to gain greater access to these offshore tin ore deposits and create more efficiency in their operations.”

Apart from building the Group’s operational resilience, Yong is also focused on its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities.

“As sustainability is a crucial factor in remaining competitive in today’s market, we’re determined to reduce our carbon footprint and instil sustainability awareness in all our employees,” Yong said.

Apart from implementing initiatives such as the National Environment Agency’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” programme, Beng Kuang Group continuously explores new technologies to cut energy and water consumption, as well as waste generated, during its daily operations. It also emphasises the occupational safety of its employees, and aims to achieve zero cases of work-related serious injuries or death.

“We also work with our customers, suppliers and staff in implementing environmentally responsible measures, such as promoting e-invoice and reducing packaging wherever possible,” he added.

At the end of the day, what inspires this 57-year-old is people – to build and nurture an expanding pool of talent for the Group’s long-term growth.

“My passion is to create a winning team that can punch above its weight in the market. I want to establish bench strength to lead Beng Kuang Group into the next lap,” he said. “People and talents will remain key.”

And when he is out of the office, this father of four children, aged five to 25, can be found jogging or golfing, and occasionally, indulging his love for hawker food.

“I always tell my kids: It’s important to stay committed to your endeavours or end-game. Throughout my banking career, I’ve experienced numerous ups and downs, but I remained steadfast, and focused on my end goals,” he said.

Beng Kuang Marine Ltd

Beng Kuang Marine was founded in 1994 and has been listed on SGX since October 2004. Over the years, the Group has been striving to be the “Preferred Partner” in providing total solutions for the marine as well as offshore oil and gas industries. As a testament to its commitment to quality, health and safety, many of its subsidiaries have been accredited with the relevant ISO certifications.   Leveraging on its strong track record and established business networks, the Group continues to strategically grow its key businesses in Infrastructure Engineering, Corrosion Prevention, Supply & Distribution and Shipping.

The company website is:

Click here for the company’s StockFacts page.

For the half year ended 30 June 2021 financial results, click here.

First published on SGX website on 19 January 2022

About kopi-C: the Company brew

Text: Jennifer Tan-Stanisic
Photo: Company file

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