Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Singapore's Wilmar Q1 net profit jumps 7 times

Singapore's Wilmar Q1 net profit jumps 7 times

Tue May 13, 2008 4:23am IST

SINGAPORE, May 13 (Reuters) - Wilmar International, Southeast Asia's largest listed palm oil firm, said on Tuesday that its first-quarter net profit rose 590 percent, helped by record high palm oil prices and higher sale volumes.

Wilmar, which owns oil palm plantations and operates milling, crushing, refining and processing plants in Indonesia and Malaysia, said its net profit rose to $343 million in the quarter ending March, from a restated $49.7 million a year earlier.

The company also has a total of four biofuel plants in Indonesia and Malaysia, with combined annual production capacity of 1.05 million tonnes.

Wilmar is expected to post a full-year 2008 net profit of $921.3 million, against $580.4 million in 2007, according to a poll of 14 analysts by Reuters Estimates.

Wilmar made its debut on the Singapore Exchange in August 2006 following a reverse takeover of Ezyhealth Asia Pacific.

In July last year, it completed the purchase of the palm plantation and edible oils businesses belonging to Malaysia's Kuok Group, a move which doubled its plantation landbank to about 570,000 hectares.

Shares in Wilmar fell by about 22 percent in the January-March quarter, after ending last year up 122 percent. The company's stock market value stands at $22.8 billion. (Reporting by Ovais Subhani; Editing by Koh Gui Qing)