Palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources' second-quarter net profit almost quadrupled as the dent in output from last year's severe El Nino weather pattern was offset by a large tax credit.
Net profit in the three months ended June 30 was US$39.5 million (S$53.1 million), up from US$10.4 million a year earlier, although group revenue fell 4.9 per cent to US$1.74 billion.
Earnings were lifted by deferred tax income arising from the increase in tax depreciable value of the group's plantation assets. Golden Agri had revalued some of its plantation assets in Indonesia for future tax benefit, resulting in a positive net tax impact of US$104 million in the second quarter.
Revenue for the plantations and palm oil mills segment fell 32 per cent from a year ago to US$296 million, due to lower production yields and an export levy which kicked in in July last year.
Palm product output in the second quarter fell 37 per cent from a year ago to 455,000 tonnes.
"The decline in fruit production has been expected as most of Golden Agri's estates experienced water deficits during the El Nino conditions last year," the group said.
AT A GLANCE
US$1.7 billion (-4.9%)
US$39.5 million (+278.6%)
Revenue from the downstream palm and laurics segment, which makes and sells palm-based items, was 6 per cent lower from a year ago at US$1.5 billion, as lower palm oil supply squeezed refining margins.
Chairman and chief executive Franky Widjaja said the company expects better results in the second half of the year due to larger harvest volumes. "Positive developments include restocking activities in large consuming countries, potential La Nina conditions, and further implementation of Indonesia's biodiesel mandate," he added.
Earnings per share for the quarter was 0.31 US cent, up from a restated 0.08 US cent in the same period a year earlier. Net asset value per share was 30 US cents as at June 30, up from a restated 29 US cents as at Dec 31. The counter closed half a cent lower at 37 cents yesterday after the results were released.