Boustead Holdings 2Q net profit slumps 74%, pays 3 sen dividend

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 30): Boustead Holdings Bhd's net profit slumped 73.7% to RM59.3 million or 2.93 sen per share in its second quarter ended June 30, 2017 (2QFY17) from RM225.8 million or 13.52 sen per share last year.

Boustead said the higher profit last year was due to gains realised on divestment of its associate company Jendela Hikmat Sdn Bhd and disposal of plantation land.

Quarterly revenue rose 15.3% to RM2.4 billion compared to RM2.1 billion a year ago, the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

It declared a second interim three sen dividend for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) that would be paid on Sept 28. Ex-date is on Sept 14 while the entitlement date is Sept 18.

For the cumulative six-month period (6MFY17), Boustead posted a lower net profit of 69% at RM63.5 million or 3.13 sen per share from RM204.3 million or 12.34 sen per share a year ago. Revenue for the period climbed 21.3% to RM4.8 billion from RM3.9 billion last year.

Group deputy chairman and managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said amid tough economic condition, it continued to deliver sustained results due to its resilient nature and diversified core business.

In a separate statement, Lodin said the plantation division was a key contributor to 6MFY17 with RM86 million profit, which was lower than the profit a year earlier.

"Excluding this, the division's operating profit was higher because of increased palm product prices, improved crop production and lower finance cost.

"Average crude palm oil selling price for the first half of the year was RM2,969 per tonne, up 22% from the corresponding period. Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) production improved by 10% to 440,075 per tonne, largely due to improvement in yields post El-Nino," Boustead said.

Its trading and industrial division posted a lower profit of RM47 million due to a stockholding loss incurred by Boustead Petroleum Marketing Sdn Bhd.

The heavy industries division improved with RM46 million profit for 6MFY17 from last year's deficit, on the back of better contributions from Boustead Naval Shipyard.

Boustead said the finance and investment unit recorded a higher profit of RM41 million in the first half because of lower finance cost from reduced borrowings from rights issue proceeds, and better contributions from Affin Bank.

The pharmaceutical division's profit dipped due to lower production after the temporary closure of certain production lines for preparatory works to facilitate the commercialisation of new products.

The property division posted a deficit of RM15 million for 6MFY17 on start-up costs for its MyTown Shopping Centre.

As at June 30, 2017, Boustead's paid-up capital was RM2.7 billion while its shareholders' funds stood at RM5.6 billion.

Moving forward, it said despite the tough global economic condition, the long-term prospects are positive for the Malaysian economy as it is supported by strong economic fundamentals and various government initiatives.

"As such, the diversified nature of Boustead in six core areas of the Malaysian economy certainly augurs well for the group," it said.

Its shares closed unchanged at RM2.70 for a market capitalisation of RM5.4 billion. —

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