KUALA LUMPUR, February 26, 2009 – Boustead Holdings Berhad’s (Boustead) focused approach of building on the strengths of its core Divisions proved to be a solid strategy as the Group’s profit after tax increased to RM668 million compared with RM655 million recorded last year. Profit attributable to shareholders also registered a significant jump to RM579 million compared with RM478 million a year ago.

For the period under review, earnings per share was 91 sen (2007: 79 sen) while net assets per share were RM4.47 (2007: RM3.75). The Group also remains committed to ensure its investors are still able to enjoy positive yields despite the economic outlook. As a result, the Group is maintaining its dividend payout of 30 sen per share. To date, dividends totaling 17.5 sen have been paid while the remaining 12.5 sen will be paid on 18 May 2009 to shareholders on the register as at 30 April 2009.

YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad, said, “The significant 22% jump in turnover to RM7 billion has indeed been a commendable one, more so due to the challenging financial year we have just experienced. In addition to delivering strong organic growth to our bottom line, we also saw profit attributable to shareholders grow by more than RM100 million. Our improved performance was due the drop in minority interests and lower tax expenses.”

The Plantation Division remained a key contributor to the Group’s revenue by registering an improved profit of RM270 million compared with RM201 million recorded in the previous year.

The Division recorded a higher average selling price of RM2,794 per MT in comparison with the RM2,279 per MT achieved in 2007, representing an increase of 23% on a year-on-year basis. In spite of the fall in CPO prices in the second half of the financial period, the Division still managed to achieve these stellar results.

The Heavy Industries Division on the other hand recorded a profit of RM184 million even with lower progress billings on the vessel construction project undertaken by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd.

The Group’s astute foresight and long term planning produced positive results as the Property Division recorded a remarkable 73% jump in profit to RM147 million, its best profit to date as compared with RM85 million last year. This was largely due to the sale of corporate lots at the highly sought after Mutiara Damansara development in Selangor. The Manufacturing and Services Division also recorded a profit of RM20 million compared with RM10 million achieved last year despite the overall slowdown in domestic demand.

“Although the Group experienced a difficult year, I am pleased to inform that we surpassed most of our key performance indicators for Government Linked Companies. The Group’s Return on Equity was 22.2% versus our target of 14%. Return on Assets was 9.7%, marginally off against the target of 11% while Dividend payout was 60% versus our target of 40%.”

“While it is clear that the financial year ahead will prove to be yet another challenging one, we are fortunate to have diversified streams of income which will allow us to deliver strong profits in a slowing economy. Moving forward, the Group will stay on course to unlock the value of its assets and seize opportunities that will see the Group’s vision of achieving progress and enhancing shareholder value come to fruition. Hence, we are optimistic that the Group will remain resilient to face the challenges of 2009,” 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 80 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 December 2008, Boustead Holdings Berhad’s paid-up capital is RM326 million, while its shareholders’ funds stand at RM2.9 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.


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