Mewah International trebles Q3 earnings on higher operating margin

Edible oils refiner Mewah International's third quarter net profit tripled to US$3.6 million (S$4.5 million) from US$1.2 million.

This was despite revenue falling by 6.1 per cent to US$793.2 million for the three months to Sept 30.

While sales volume in tonnage grew by 20 per cent, average selling prices fell by 21.7 per cent. Consequently, overall revenue fell.

The bottom-line grew, mainly due to improvement of US$3 million in operating margin and decrease of US$1.6 million in other operating expenses.

Earnings per share increased to 0.24 US cent from 0.08 US cent previously while net asset value per share slipped to 36.78 US cents compared to 37.38 US cents as at Dec 31.

Crude palm oil prices have been range-bound between US$700 and US$800 a tonne for the past one year from a high of US$1,200 in the beginning of 2012.

"We are of the opinion that the low prices and resultant lower profit margins are currently resulting in the industry to consolidate that will help integrated larger players in the long run," said Mewah.

Its outlook remains cautious for the near term.