Olam posts 26.6% rise in Q1 profit on better operational performance

Olam saw growth in the edible nuts, spices and vegetable ingredients segment, as well as its food staples and packaged foods business.
Olam saw growth in the edible nuts, spices and vegetable ingredients segment, as well as its food staples and packaged foods business.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Commodity trader Olam International reported on Monday (May 15) a 26.6 per cent rise in its first quarter profit to S$143.9 million from S$126.1 miilion in the corresponding period a year ago.

The company said it saw growth in the edible nuts, spices and vegetable ingredients segment, as well as its food staples and packaged foods business, which offset lower contributions from segments such as confectionery and beverage ingredients and industrial raw materials.

Operational profit for the three months to end-March, which excludes exceptional items, rose 14.1 per cent to S$143.9 million.

Sales revenues were up 21.9 per cent to S$5.8 billion while sales volumes were up 50.5 per cent largely on opportunistic trading volumes in grains during the quarter, said Olam.

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The group, which counts Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp as its largest shareholders, is a major trader for a number of commodities, including cocoa, coffee and edible nuts.

Olam's co-founder and group CEO Sunny Verghese said: "We are pleased to have started the year with a strong set of results despite continued global uncertainty."

The company said it remained "focused on turning around underperforming businesses, ensuring gestating businesses reach full potential and achieving positive free cash flow".