Olam rebounds to Q4 net profit of $102m from $269m loss a year ago

Olam International's warehouse (right) and storage and distribution van (left).
Olam International's warehouse (right) and storage and distribution van (left). PHOTO: OLAM INTERNATIONAL

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Olam International reported a net profit of S$102.2 million for its fourth quarter, rebounding from a loss of S$269.4 million in the same period last year, on improved operational performance and lower exceptional losses.

Olam, one of the world's biggest traders of agricultural commodities, said operating profit, which excludes exceptional items, more than doubled to S$102.3 million.

For the three months to Dec 31, 2016, Olam saw a net gain from changes in the fair value of biological assets of S$17.8 million from a year-ago loss of S$80.8 million.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 34.4 per cent to S$349.0 million on the back of a strong performance from confectionery & beverage ingredients and food staples & packaged foods, which offset declines in other business segments.

Revenue for the quarter rose 12.1 per cent to S$6.1 billion.

Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 3.10 Singapore cents from a loss per share of 9.87 cents previously.

For full-year 2016, Olam achieved net profit of S$351.3 million compared to a loss of S$114.9 million.

Operating profit was up 23.1 per cent at S$363.8 million as revenue rose 8.1 per cent to S$20.6 billion.

Looking ahead, Olam said the long-term trends in the agri-commodity sector remain attractive, and the group is well positioned to benefit from this as a core global supply chain business.

"Olam believes its diversified and well-balanced portfolio with leadership positions in many segments provides a resilient platform to navigate current uncertainties in global commodity markets, and continues to execute on its 2016-2018 strategic plan to invest in prioritised platforms," the company added.

A second and final dividend of 3 cents per share has been recommended. This brings total dividends for 2016 to 6 cents, the same as 2015.