KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Holdings Bhd's third quarter (3Q) net profit fell 47.5% year-on-year, dragged down by lower income from its plantation, heavy industries, real estate and hotel operations.

In a statement to the exchange on Nov 23, Boustead said net profit declined to RM86.16 million in 3Q ended September from RM164 million, while revenue dropped 27.2% to RM1.42 billion from RM1.95 billion.

Cumulative nine-month net profit dipped 58.6% to RM193.92 million from RM468.2 million while revenue was down 32.6% to RM3.91 billion from RM5.8 billion.

"We are cautiously optimistic that the steady price range of RM2,200 to RM2,400 for crude palm oil (CPO) could sustain until the end of the year on the back of steady overseas demand as world economies recover. A factor that bodes well for the CPO price would be the potential further weakness of the US dollar," Boustead said.

On its heavy industries unit, the company said it would continue developing its defence and commercial businesses, and pursue strategic partnerships with foreign parties to promote technology transfer.

Meanwhile, Boustead's property division's earnings are expected to be driven by current developments at its Mutiara Damansara and Mutiara Rini townships, besides the company's commercial and retail properties.

The expansion of its hotel operations, which now include the five-star Royale Chulan Hotel and Royale Bintang Seremban, are anticipated to further boost revenue for the conglomerate's hospitality arm.

Boustead intends to reward its shareholders with a third interim dividend of 7.5 sen per share less 25% income tax.