Indofood Agri's Q4 net profit rises 32%

Fourth quarter net profit at Indofood Agri Resources rose 31.6 per cent following the strong recovery in agricultural commodity prices for and as the company increased sales of palm products.

Net profit for the three months to Dec 31 was 254.775 billion rupiah (S$28 million), up from 193.574 billion rupiah a year ago.

Quarterly revenue rose 12.8 per cent to 3.749 trillion rupiah, said Indofood Agri, an Indonesian palm oil company which also grows rubber, sugar cane, cocoa and tea.

However full year net profit fell 49.1 per cent to 550.365 billion rupiah as turnover dipped 4.1 per cent to 13.28 trillion rupiah.

The company cited several factors for the weaker full-year performance, including lower edible oils sales, lower agricultural commodity prices for the 12-month period, foreign exchange losses, and rising wages. Indofood Agri also said that its newly matured plantations contributed to higher unit production costs.

Full-year earnings per share were 4.6 Singapore cents, from nine cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share was S$1.03 at Dec 31, up from 98.7 Singapore cents a year earlier.

Indofood Agri said its directors have recommended a first and final dividend for the financial year ended Dec 31. But it did not give the amount, saying that "the details of the dividend will be announced before the end of March".

The company had paid a first and final dividend of 0.85 Singapore cent per share, for the 2012 financial year.

"The global economic slowdown has affected major markets like China and Europe with almost all commodity prices in 2013 falling below that of 2012," said Indofood Agri in a statement.

"Crude palm oil prices averaged US$857 per tonne in 2013, significantly lower than US$1,006 in 2012."

But the company said that the outlook for the palm oil industry is expected to remain positive, judging by the consumption growth trends in emerging economies like India and China.

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