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Wilmar's Q2 profit up 18.8% on strong demand for oilseeds, grains

AGRIBUSINESS group Wilmar International's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015, rose 18.8 per cent to US$193.6 million, from US$163.1 million in the year-ago period, on strong demand for oilseeds and grains.

This was despite an 11.7 per cent year-on-year decrease in total revenue from US$105.8 million to US$928.4 million as a result of lower commodity prices.

Oilseeds and grains, including manufacturing and consumer products such as vegetable oil, were the highest performer out of four categories with a year-on-year increase of profit before tax of 179.4 per cent, or US$115.9 million from US$41.4 million. Improved China crushing margins, higher volume crushed and demand for consumer products contributed to the improved margins, the group said.

Chairman and CEO Kuok Khoon Hong expects crushing margins in China to remain positive for the rest of the year and consumer products to maintain their solid performance.

Palm oil plantation and mill performance will continue to be affected by softening crude palm oil prices, though increased production and demand are expected, he said.

Earnings per share for the second quarter came to 3.2 US cents while net asset value per share was US$2.405. Dividends of S$0.025 per share were declared.

Wilmar closed trading up 0.02 per cent at S$3.17 on Wednesday.