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Stocks to watch: Olam, Sakae, EMS Energy, China Fibretech

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OLAM International: Olam International swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter and the full 2015 financial year - its first since listing in 2002 - hit by one-off charges including a writedown in the fair value of its investment in sweetener producer PureCircle.

Still, even as the global economy looks increasingly fragile, the firm is optimistic that its recession-proof food business, plus its well-diversified structure, will help it ride out any economic downturn, its chief executive Sunny Verghese told The Business Times.

Olam recorded a net loss of S$221.3 million for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, from a net profit of S$118.7 million a year earlier.

This was in spite of revenue rising 11.7 per cent to S$5.4 billion.

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For the full year - its first on the new January-December financial calendar - the agri-commodity trader made a net loss of S$64.3 million, on a 3.6 per cent dip in revenue to S$19.1 billion.

Sakae Holdings: Food and beverage (F&B) firm Sakae Holdings on Tuesday posted a net loss of S$5.8 million for its full year ended Dec 31, 2015. This was a reversal from a profit of S$2.1 million made a year ago.

The loss was due to reduced profit margins arising from foreign-exchange losses, rising operating costs and an increase in legal fees incurred over an ongoing legal case involving its associate companies Griffin Real Estate Investment and Gryphon Capital Management.

Revenue dipped 1.8 per cent to S$96 million as a result of weaker market sentiment and fierce competition in the F&B sector in Singapore.

The group's major operations in Malaysia were affected by a weakened ringgit and the GST (goods and service tax), as well as increasing political instability which lowered contribution from sales in the country.

EMS Energy: EMS Energy on Tuesday posted a net loss of S$10.2 million for its fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2015. This was a reversal from a net profit of S$15.4 million a year ago.

Revenue fell 36.9 per cent to S$68.9 million. This was mainly due to a reduction in revenue from engineering, procurement and construction management - marine and offshore & trading segments.

There was an absence of revenue recognised from major projects in the corresponding year-ago period too, it said.

China Fibretech: China Fibretech said on Tuesday it is expected to report a loss before taxation for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, compared to a profit before taxation for the corresponding period a year ago.

The loss was mainly due to the provision of doubtful debts amounting to 4.48 million yuan (S$960,260) recorded in the quarter for trade receivables from three claimants over the claims by customers.

It said it has sought approval for an extension of time until March 31, 2016, to announce its financial statements, due to unresolved audit findings raised by the external auditors, RT LLP.

The company is in the midst of trying to resolve the matters with the external auditors, it said.

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