Boustead expects to continue delivering strong results this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Holdings Bhd expects to continue delivering strong results for its current financial year 2010, group managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said on March 3.

Boustead was on track to further fortify its balance sheet following the disposal of BH Insurance (M) Bhd to AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd, Lodin said.

"Through the sale, Boustead stands to benefit from a cash inflow of RM363 million and a profit of RM75 million," he said in a statement on March 3.

According to Lodin, the outlook for 2010 looks brighter by the day for the group with recovery on the horizon and given its diverse investment portfolio as well as strategic business measures. "We expect a better year ahead," he said.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2009, Boustead posted a higher pre-tax profit of RM208.094 million compared to RM20.411 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose to RM1.481 billion from RM1.228 billion previously.

The finance and investment division was the main contributor in the fourth quarter, registering a profit of RM65 million due to improved profits from the Affin Group and BH Insurance.

Its property division recorded a profit of RM49 million for the fourth quarter due to gains from property investment and property development sub-segments.

The heavy industries division gained a profit of RM32 million for the quarter and was the highest contributor for the fiscal year, delivering a profit of RM145 million.

The trading division posted a profit of RM26 million while the plantation division recorded a profit of RM24 million in the fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year, the plantation division posted an average palm oil price of RM2,170 per metric tonne, a drop from RM2,794 per metric tonne in the previous year.

Fresh fruit bunches production totalling 1,106,000 metric tonnes was five per cent lower than the corresponding period last year.

The group's manufacturing and services division achieved a profit of RM12 million for the fourth quarter.

Boustead said it would pay a dividend net of tax amounting to 22.1 sen for financial year ended Dec 31, 2009, in spite of the global economic conditions and a drop in profit.

The total dividend payout of RM184 million represents 54 per cent of the its attributable profit and a 27 per cent increase from the payout of previous year, the group said.

This increase in payout was sizeable given the enlarged share capital as a result of a rights issue undertaken during the year, which increased the shareholder base, it added.

To date, dividends totalling 13.1 sen have been paid while the remaining nine sen will be paid on March 31 and April 2 respectively to shareholders on the register as at March 18, 2010. -- Bernama

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