Wilmar posts 47% jump in Q3 profit

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd posted a 46.6 per cent rise in its third-quarter net profit on Thursday, helped by improved earnings at its tropical oils as well as oilseeds and grains businesses.

Net profit came in at US$392.2 million (S$545.8 million) for the three months ended September, compared with a net profit of US$267.6 million a year earlier, the world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest soybean buyers said.

Mark-to-market gains from investment securities and lower foreign exchange losses also boosted net profit.

Core profit, which excludes non-operating items, rose 9.8 per cent to US$384.9 million, and revenue increased 4.1 per cent to US$11.08 billion.

Pretax profit at the company's tropical oils segment rose 81 per cent to US$169.3 million due to downstream businesses, although plantation results were hit by lower production volumes.

The oilseeds and grains segment recorded a profit before tax of US$248.1 million. Pretax profit at the sugar business fell 21 per cent, hurt by disruption in harvesting due to wet weather in Australia.

The company, which counts US agricultural products trader Archer Daniels Midland Co among its shareholders, had posted its first-ever quarterly loss in April-June due to untimely purchases of soybeans.

"The group will continue to execute on its stated growth strategy, with emphasis on its downstream businesses and focusing on high-growth markets in Asia and Africa," Chairman and CEO Kuok Khoon Hong said in a statement. "Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group's performance for the rest of the year is expected to be satisfactory."