Singapore’s Wilmar Q1 profits rise 11% on improved margins

13 May 2009 04:46  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS News)--Palm oil producer Wilmar International said on Wednesday its first-quarter net profits grew 11% year on year to $380m (€277m) as margins for its palm & laurics business improved despite the global economic slowdown.

Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong said the company had a “satisfactory performance” during the quarter.

"We remain cautiously optimistic on our group's prospects for the year," he said.

Sales volume for the three months to March 2009 was flat compared to ayear ago but revenue for the quarter fell 31% to $4.96bn due to declines in agricultural commodity prices, the company said.

Wilmar’s palm & laurics segment, meanwhile, reported a 72% jump in pre-tax profits to $216.2m.

Profits from its oilseeds & grains business declined 17% to $169m although sales volumes grew 25% year on year.

Wilmar, which is listed in Singapore, has operations in more than 20 countries and employs more than 70,000.

The company said it considering listing its shares in either Hong Kong or Shanghai as part of its China growth strategy.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Terence Teo
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