Boustead Q4 earnings dn 21.7% to RM150.5m on lower CPO prices


KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Holdings Bhd's earnings fell 21.7% to RM150.50mil in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012 from RM192.30mil a year ago as it was impacted by the sharp fall in crude palm oil (CPO) prices.

It said on Monday that revenue rose 4.8% to RM2.68bil from RM2.55bil. Earnings per share were 14.55 sen compared with 18.59 sen. It proposed a dividend of 7.5 sen per share to be paid on March 29.

For FY12, its earnings fell 31.7% to Rm416.70mil from RM610mil in FY11. Its revenue, however, increased by 19.4% to RM10.21bil from RM8.55bil a year ago.

"For the year under review, despite being affected by plunging CPO prices and higher operating costs, the plantation division was once again one of the group's strongest contributors, delivering a profit of RM206mil," it said.

The average CPO price realised was RM2,902 per tonne compared with the previous financial year's historic high of RM3,272 per tonne. Its crop production fell 2% to 1,100,409 tonnes.

Boustead Holdings said the property division posted profit of RM161mil in FY12 but it was impacted by lower fair value gain.

Its trading and manufacturing division posted record profit of RM159mil, up 40% from RM113mil in FY11, boosted by higher sales volume and also gain from disposal of properties.

Boustead Holdings' finance and investment division recorded a 144% increase in profit to RM110mil.

It attributed the earnings growth from from the Affin Group and other strategic business units -- University of Nottingham in Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Cadbury Confectionery Malaysia.

However, the heavy industries division was affected by the downcast economic environment for the maritime sector in addition to cost escalations which contributed to losses in the commercial shipbuilding segment. The division to record a deficit of RM97mil.

"To mitigate future losses, the group will be scaling down its reliance on construction of large commercial vessels while developing a portfolio of smaller commercial crafts," it said.

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