SINGAPORE - Olam International said on Friday that first-quarter earnings more than doubled from the same period a year ago, due to lower exceptional charges it had to pay on the buyback of bonds.
Profit after tax and minority interests (Patmi) for the three months ended March 31 increased 212.8 per cent from the same period a year ago to $113.6 million.
Olam bought back high-priced bonds worth $12.5 million in the first quarter of this year, down from its buyback of $97.2 million in the same period last year.
Operational Patmi, which excludes such one-offl items, declined by 5.5 per cent to $126.1 million.
Sales volumes in the first quarter rose 10.5 per cent while revenue grew10.2 per cent, as all business segments posted higher volumes.
As a result of various initiatives to optimise debt tenure and reduce cost of borrowing, Olam recorded lower net finance costs of $99.4 million, a 19.3 per cent improvement from a year ago, despite growth in invested capital.
Olam chief executive Sunny Verghese said: "Our consistent performance amid challenging market conditions and uneven global growth reflects our sound business fundamentals and our diversified portfolio.
"We are confident about our growth prospects, on the back of our acquisition of ADM's cocoa processing assets, BUA Group's wheat milling assets, our entry into the animal feed business in Nigeria and our new joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan. These initiatives will open up new opportunities and revenue streams as we continue to execute on our differentiated strategy."