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Revenue increased by RM6.7 million or 16%, from RM41.4 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 to RM48.1 million for the quarter ended 31 December 2018. The increase was primarily due to higher income from third party charter during the quarter ended 31 March 2018. Vessel utilisation rate increased to 52% for quarter ended 31 March 2018 (31 March 2017 : 43%) mainly due to higher utilisation of Achor Handling Tug & Supply Vessel ("AHTS") and Straight Supply Vessel ("SSV") during the current quarter. Revenue from Accomodation Workboat Vessel ("AWB") also increased due to additional contribution from one new AWB vessel.
The cost of sales increased by RM0.6 million or 2%, from RM36.8 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 to RM37.4 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 mainly due to additional AWB vessel.
Consequently, the Group's gross profit increased by RM6.0 million or more than 100%, from RM4.6 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 to RM10.6 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 due to higher revenue.
The administrative expenses increased by RM0.2 million or 3%, from RM6.1 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 to RM6.3 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 primarily due to higher write back of doubtful debt in corresponding period.
The effective tax rate for the current quarter and period ended 31 March 2018 is higher than the statutory tax rate of 24%. This is mainly due to higher profit contribution from Malaysia tax resident entity offset with the lower tax rate applicable to income from our vessel leasing subsidiaries being Malaysia tax residents incorporated in Labuan.
Loss after taxation
As a result of the foregoing, the Group recorded higher loss after taxation of RM7.6 million in quarter ended 31 March 2018 compared to RM6.0 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2017 due to reversal of impairment loss on vessels of RM3.2 million in the corresponding quarter.
The Group's revenue decreased by RM2.0 million from RM50.1 million for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 to RM48.1 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 , mainly due to lower utilisation during the quarter 31 March 2018 of 51.8% as compared to 55.2% in the quarter ended 31 December 2017.
The Group's loss after tax has improved by RM40.0 million from a loss after tax of RM45.9 million for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 to loss after tax of RM7.6 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018, mainly due to net impairment loss on vessel of RM37.6 million in quarter ended 31 December 2017.
The Group continues to focus on securing new contracts and maximising utilisation rates through competitive tendering for domestic and regional contracts, as well as leveraging on its expanded presence in Brunei. The upstream exploration and production activities in Malaysia is expected to gradually increase but continue to be volatile and underpin the demand for OSV. The Group continues to work on conserving cash and reducing cost to improve its business liquidity and competitiveness.
In view of this, the Board of Directors remain focused on improvement initiatives, the Group's liquidity and competitiveness.