Wilmar Q3 profit up 1.5% on improved results from units, associates

SINGAPORE - Commodities firm Wilmar International saw higher earnings in the third quarter on the back of an improvement in most of its key segments and higher contributions from its associates.

Net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30 rose 1.5 per cent to US$422.4 million (S$525 million).

Earnings rose despite revenue dipping 2.7 per cent to US$11.5 billion.

The firm said its oilseeds and grains business, plantations and palm oil mills unit and consumer products all turned in strong performances.

But margin contraction in its palm and laurics unit resulted in lower contributions form the segment.

Wilmar was helped by higher contributions mainly from its associates in China.

Its share of results from associates jumped to US$32.7 million from just US$8.2 million last year.

Net profit for the nine months was US$755 million, down 20.5 per cent from a year agodue to ongoing margin contractions in the palm and laurics business, as well as negative soybean crushing margins in its fiscal first quarter.

Third quarter earnings per share was 6.6 US cents, up from 6.5 US cents a year ago, while net asset value per share was US$2.399 as at Sept 30, up from US$2.345 as at Dec 31.

Wilmar chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong said in a statement: "We are optimistic on the prospects for China, India and Indonesia, as well as on Africa despite the outbreak of Ebola, and will continue to expand our operations in these key growth markets."