A loss on foreign exchange sent first-quarter earnings plummeting 60.1 per cent at Golden Agri-Resources.
Net profit for the three months to March 31 came in at US$37.6 million (S$52.6 million), much lower than the US$94.1 million recorded last year.
The palm oil giant booked a net foreign exchange loss of US$1.2 million for the quarter, compared with a net gain of US$51.9 million in the same period a year earlier.
But revenue jumped 37 per cent to US$2.05 billion, supported by the appreciation of crude palm oil market prices, coupled with the continued recovery in production as the impact of El Nino eases, Golden-Agri said in a statement yesterday.
Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose 28.8 per cent to US$182.8 million.
Earnings per share was 0.29 US cent, well down from the 0.74 US cent previously. Net asset value per share stood at 32 US cents as at March 31, unchanged from that as at Dec 31 last year.
The group said its financial position strengthened with an adjusted net gearing ratio of 0.4 times as at March 31, while its total consolidated assets grew to US$8.4 billion on the back of "higher inventories and higher cash and cash equivalents in line with better operating results".
AT A GLANCE
NET PROFIT: US$37.6 million (-60.1%)
REVENUE: US$2.05 billion (+37%)
Chairman and chief executive Franky Widjaja noted that the company has started 2017 well with stronger performance from its upstream business. "For the rest of the year, we expect performance to be supported mainly by increasing production volume," he said.
Chief financial officer Rafael B. Concepcion Jr told a tele-briefing that the company expects crude palm oil prices to continue to be supported by global demand growth, while the implementation of the biodiesel policy in Indonesia would also help absorb supplies as the firm ramps up production in the second half of the year.
The group had a total planted area of 488,276ha in Indonesia as at the end of the quarter. It has integrated operations focused on the production of palm-based edible oil and fat.
Golden-Agri shares closed flat at 37.5 cents yesterday, before the results were announced.