KUALA LUMPUR, May 31, 2010 – Boustead Holdings Berhad (Boustead) is looking forward to a positive financial year as it recorded a profit after tax of RM104 million for the first quarter of its 2010 financial year. This represents a 54% increase compared with the previous year’s first quarter results of RM68 million.

The Group’s profit after tax and minority interest of RM90 million was also 48% higher from the RM61 million achieved in the first quarter of 2009. These positive results were achieved on the back of a turnover of RM1.6 billion compared with the RM1.2 billion recorded during the same period last year.

For the period under review, earnings per share (EPS) was 9.8 sen and for the same period last year, EPS was 9.3 sen while net assets per share was RM4.27 (31 December 2009: RM4.20).

As a result of the Group’s strong performance, the Board of Directors has declared an increased single tier dividend of 5.0 sen per share (for the same period last year: 3.75 sen).

YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Deputy Chairman/Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad, said, “The solid results achieved for the quarter were at the top end of our expectations and represents a very good start to the financial year. This is testament to the Group’s strength and diversity of our business model.”

“This time around the Plantation Division has done us proud by being the primary contributor to the Group’s bottom-line delivering 46% of the Group’s total profit for this quarter, amounting to RM62 million compared with the previous financial year’s first quarter of RM24 million.”

During the period under review, the Plantation Division achieved an average crude palm oil price (CPO) of RM2,499 per MT, an increase of 33% against last year’s average of RM1,886 per MT. The fresh fruit bunches production for the quarter of 305,335 MT was 1.5% better than the corresponding period last year.

The Trading Division also demonstrated a marked increment in segmental contribution recording a profit of RM20 million compared with RM3 million achieved last year. This was due to higher sales volume and stock holding gains from BH Petrol.

The Finance & Investment Division also recorded positive gains with a profit of RM18 million compared with RM4 million achieved in the same period last year. This was driven by a strong performance from key operating units of Affin Holdings Berhad, particularly its insurance, consumer banking and Islamic banking segments. In addition, a drop in non-performing loans contributed to the Affin Group’s positive performance.

The Heavy Industries Division on the other hand closed the first quarter with a lower profit of RM23 million compared with RM31 million last year due to lower progress billings. The Property Division also recorded a drop in profits from RM18 million last year to RM6 million for the first quarter of this year. Key factors for this drop included a decline in contributions from the property development and hotel segments, particularly due to the new Royale Chulan Hotel which has yet to achieve optimum operating capacity.

The Manufacturing and Services Division registered a profit of RM5 million, a marginal drop from the RM6 million recorded in the preceding year’s corresponding quarter.

“As we look at the year ahead, we are very optimistic with our Divisions contributing to sustain their performance levels. Additionally, we expect CPO to trade between the band of RM2,450 and RM2,650 as a result of rising demand and reducing stock piles driven by the drop in production levels due to El-Nino.”

“With the disposal of our 80% stake in BH Insurance (M) Berhad, the Group stands to benefit from a positive cash flow of RM363 million. In addition, as a result of this sale, the Group will realise a profit of RM75 million which will hit our bottom-line this year.” YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin concluded.

Since its inception as a modest trading entity more than 180 years ago, the Boustead Group has grown by leaps and bounds to comprise more than 90 subsidiary and associate companies, and has substantial interests in various sectors of the Malaysian economy. The Boustead Group’s operations are focused in six key areas; plantation, heavy industries, property, finance & investment, trading and manufacturing & services. As at 31 March 2010, Boustead Holdings Berhad’s paid-up capital is RM466 million, while its shareholders’ funds stand at RM4 billion. Market capitalisation currently is in excess of RM3.3 billion.

Forward looking statements
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial conditions, results of operations and business of the Group and certain plans and objectives of Boustead Holdings Berhad with respect to these items. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and there are many factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.


Issued on behalf of: Boustead Holdings Berhad By: acorn communications sdn bhd
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