First Resources underlying net profit surges 120.1% in Q3

PALM oil producer First Resources reported a 120.1 per cent surge in its underlying net profit for its third quarter ended Sep 30 to US$116.3 million from S$52.8 million in the equivalent period the year before.

This was mainly due to stronger palm oil prices and the resumption of palm oil exports in Indonesia, where the group's operations are based, it said on Monday (Nov 14). 

Sales for the quarter rose 15.2 per cent to US$361.9 million from US$314.2 million previously as a result of an improvement in average selling prices amid "challenging market conditions", the group added.

First Resources' earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) also rose year on year by 47.5 per cent to US$160.4 million from US$108.8 million. 

The group attributed the increase to the Indonesian government's decision to lift an export ban, followed by the suspension of an export levy.

According to First Resources, Q3 was its peak production quarter. While the group predicts output will taper off in the short term, it still expects to achieve overall output growth for the full financial year.

The group's Q3 performance lifted its underlying net profit for the first nine months of FY2022 to US$253.8 million, representing a 206 per cent increase from US$83 million in the same period the year before. 

Sales for the period increased by 23.4 per cent to US$897.1 million from US$727.1 million, while Ebitda rose by 91.2 per cent to US$390.7 million from US$204.3 million.

First Resources said it is optimistic that demand for palm oil will remain "supportive" even as it expects the export levy to be reimposed in November.

Although the crude palm oil reference price has risen above the US$800 per tonne threshold, the producer said palm oil's "attractive" pricing relative to other edible oils should continue to stimulate demand.

Shares of First Resources closed 1.3 per cent or S$0.02 higher at S$1.52 on Friday.

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