Olam Q4 profit more than doubles to S$265.1m

Olam International's net profit for the quarter rose by over two and a half times to S$265.1 million from S$102.2 million in the previous year.
Olam International's net profit for the quarter rose by over two and a half times to S$265.1 million from S$102.2 million in the previous year. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A one-off gain from divestments of its sugar refining business in Indonesia and edible nuts farmland assets in the US, lower depreciation and amortisation, and net finance charges lifted results for Olam International for its fourth quarter.

The group's net profit for the quarter rose by over two and a half times to S$265.1 million from S$102.2 million in the previous year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday morning (Feb 27).

Earnings per share for the quarter went up to 8.20 Singapore cents from 3.24 Singapore cents in the previous year.

For the three months ended Dec 31, revenue increased 18.5 per cent to S$7.24 billion from S$6.11 billion the previous year.

For the full year, revenue climbed 27.6 per cent to S$26.27 billion from the previous year while net profit leapt 65.3 per cent to S$580.7 million.

The increase in full-year revenue was attributed to changes in product mix as well as lower commodity prices, Olam said.

Net asset value per share crept up to 200.05 Singapore cents as at Dec 31, from 190.82 Singapore cents in a year ago.

A final ordinary dividend per share of four Singapore cents was recommended by the board, up from three Singapore cents in the previous year. This brings the total dividend per share in 2017 to 7.5 Singapore cents, up from six Singapore cents the year before.

Olam's net gearing was lower at 1.46 times as at Dec 31 compared to 1.99 times a year ago.

Said Olam's co-founder & group chief executive officer Sunny Verghese: "We successfully delivered on our key priorities for 2017 as part of our 2016-2018 strategic plan, closing the year with a strong set of results. Our earnings for the year grew significantly and our returns also improved."

He added: "While we may not be immune to near-term uncertainties for some agri-commodities, we believe we can continue to generate long-term, sustainable value for our stakeholders. This will involve not only executing on our Strategic Plan but crucially pursuing value in an environmentally and socially responsible way."

Olam shares ended S$0.02 or 0.9 per cent higher at S$2.28 on Monday.