Kim Loong’s performance depends on labour, fertiliser


PETALING JAYA: Driven by improving yield and the contribution from the acquisition of land in Sabah, Kim Loong Resources Bhd is expected to see higher oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) harvest in financial year 2023 (FY23), according to TA Research.

The research firm expects the company’s FY23 FFB harvest to increase by 15.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 306,500 tonnes.

However, it said that management had noted that the crude palm oil (CPO) production cost is also expected to increase due to the surge in fertiliser cost, high inflation rate and revised minimum wages.

That said, management expects the group to perform well for FY23, said the research firm in a report.

Kim Loong Resources’ core net profit of RM37.7mil (after stripping exceptional items) for the first quarter (1Q) of FY23 had come within market expectations on the back of higher palm oil prices and sales.

While the plantation segment reported higher operating profit, performance for the milling segment was poorer than expected due to the tight supply in the market and higher feedstock cost, analysts noted.

UOB Kay Hian Research expects margins for the milling operation to come in lower in 2Q FY23 due to the spike in raw material prices.

“In addition, Kim Loong Resources may also lower its utilisation rate and purchase less external FFB to minimise losses due to the recent sharp fall in CPO prices

Currently, palm oil mills purchase FFB based on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s monthly average, which is at about RM6,300 per tonne.

However, the current CPO prices at physical markets are at about RM4,900 per tonne.

Therefore, for every tonne of external FFB purchase, the group would incur a potential loss of around RM300 per tonne,” it said in a note to clients.

Given these, UOB Kay Hian said it had adjusted its earnings lower for FY23, factoring in lower utilisation rate and lower milling margin.

It maintains a “hold” with an unchanged target price of RM1.80, while TA Research has a “buy” call and a RM2.16 target price on the stock based on 20 times 2023’s earnings per share.

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