Recovery of deposits boosts Sarawak Plantations profits

KUCHING: Sarawak Plantations Bhd has recovered deposits of RM28.5mil paid for acquisitions of equity stakes in four plantation companies.

The recovery helped to boost the company group’s net profits to RM60.9mil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014, which was sharply higher than RM35.8mil in 2013. Group revenue grew to RM389.9mil from RM362.1mil previously.

In the October-December quarter, the group’s net profit rose to RM23.4mil from RM15.1mil in the previous corresponding period despite a drop in revenue to RM97.2mil from RM113mil.

Sarawak Plantations attributed the higher profit to increased sales volume of palm kernel besides the reversal of impairment loss on deposits paid for the acquisition of equity interest in the plantation companies concerned.

However, in the quarter under review, the group recorded lower sales volumes of crude palm oil (CPO) and average selling prices of both CPO and palm kernel.

The CPO sales volumes fell by 3.9% while the average selling prices of CPO and palm kernel declined by 11.1% and 11.5% respectively.

Over a 12-month period, Sarawak Plantation said the group’s realised average selling prices of CPO and palm kernel, however, increased by 3.6% and 29.5% respectively from 2013’s.

The CPO sales volume was higher by 2% but that of palm kernel dropped by 0.2%. The company has proposed an interim dividend of 3 sen.

Going forward, the company said the group’s performance was largely dependent on the production, operation efficiency and prices of CPO and palm kernel.

Meanwhile,industrial gas manufacturer SIG Gases Bhd said its wholly-owned subsidiary Southern Industrial Gas Sdn Bhd had accepted the alienation of 60 years leasehold land measuring 12.14ha in Samalaju,Bintulu from Land & Survey Department for about RM2.69mil.The annual rent of the land if RM6,070.

The company has manufacturing facilities in Samalaju Industrial Park,which caters for energy intensive industries.

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