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Bumitama Agri Q4 earnings down 43% to 207b rupiah

BUMITAMA Agri Ltd has recorded a net profit of 207.37 billion rupiah (S$20 million) for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, down 43 per cent from 363.61 billion rupiah the year before. This was due to the weakening of the agriculture commodity prices, especially during the last quarter of 2018, offset by the increase in sales volume, the Indonesian palm oil producer said in a regulatory filing.

Earnings per share (EPS) was at 118 rupiah, down from 208 rupiah the year before. The group will be issuing a final dividend, subject to approval of shareholders.

It is recommending a final dividend for the financial year; payment of the dividend will be subject to shareholders' approval at the forthcoming AGM (annual general meeting) to be convened at the end of April 2019. Last year, the group’s final cash dividend was two Singapore cents per share.

Revenue was at 2.20 trillion rupiah for the fourth quarter, down 7 per cent from 2.06 trillion rupiah the year before. This was mainly attributable to an increase in the sales volume of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK) arising from improved palm production compared to previous corresponding periods. To focus on its core business, the group ceased its biodiesel operation in late 2017, it added.

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The company said that foreign exchange loss and loss on fair value changes in biological assets amounting to 48 billion rupiah during fiscal 2018 also contributed to the decline in the group’s net profit.

For the full year, net profit was down 8.1 per cent to 1.10 trillion rupiah, from 1.19 trillion rupiah the year before. EPS was at 627 rupiah, down from 682 rupiah the year before, and net asset value was at 4,468 rupiah per share, up from 4,282 rupiah the year before.

Revenue was at 8.38 trillion rupiah for the full year, down 3.1 per cent from 8.13 trillion rupiah the year before. Finance cost also increased by 20.3 per cent to 199.80 billion rupiah for the full year, mainly from higher London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) in 2018.

On outlook, the group said that CPO prices have increased in January 2019, and is expected to maintain in the near future. This higher price will mitigate the lower seasonal fresh fruit bunches production in the first quarter of this year. Thus, the group will continue to strengthen its business strategies, improve cost management and increase the contribution from young matured plantations.

Shares for Bumitama Agri last closed at S$0.67 apiece on Monday. Bumitama Agri is the Singaporean subsidiary of Bumitama Gunajaya Agro, an Indonesian oil palm plantation company.