28 February 2008 03:21 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, posted on Thursday an almost four-fold surge in its 2007 fourth quarter operating profits year on year mainly due to record-high prices and gains from its merger and expansion of its palm plantation and related businesses.
Operating profits in the fourth quarter almost quadrupled to $394.2m (€260.2m) from $98.8m in the same period the previous year while revenue nearly tripled to $6.5bn mainly due to rising crude palm oil (CPO) and oilseeds prices, the company said in a statement.
For 2007, the company’s operating profit nearly tripled to $952.2m while revenue jumped to $16.5bn from $7.02bn in 2006 with the largest contribution coming from its merchandising and processing segment, the company said.
Sales volumes of oilseeds and grains increased by 24.5% in the fourth quarter and was up 33.2% for the full year in 2007. Plantations yielded 21.9 tonnes/hectare in 2007 compared with 21.2 tonnes/hectare in 2006, it added.
Its CPO production grew by 62.5% to 1.35m tonnes.
Wilmar was cautiously optimistic about its 2008 outlook amid a possible recession in the US, it said.
It was optimistic about the bullish palm oil prices in its Indonesian and Malaysian markets, but said meal and edible oils consumption in China might be affected by the high prices.
"We see good growth opportunities in agricultural commodities in the years ahead," Kuok Khoon Hong, chairman and chief executive of the company.
"We have consolidated our position in Asia, our home base, and are now planning to expand in similar businesses beyond Asia to countries like Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Africa," Kuok added.
In July last year, Wilmar acquired the palm plantation and edible oils businesses belonging to Malaysia's Kuok Group, a move which doubled the size of its plantations to about 570,000 hectares.
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