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Sime Darby Plantation posts 89% fall in Q1 profit

Kuala Lumpur

SIME Darby Plantation Berhad, the world's largest oil palm planter by land holdings, said on Friday that its first-quarter profit slumped 89 per cent due to lower palm prices and reduced margins.

Profit for the July-September period fell to RM115 million (S$37.65 million) from RM1.02 billion a year earlier. Revenue declined 14 per cent to RM3.04 billion.

Earnings were hurt by a decline in both crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel prices, the company said. "The business environment remains challenging," managing director Mohd Bakke Salleh said in a statement.

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CPO prices are expected to remain under pressure, mainly due to the seasonal rise in production, higher inventories and sluggish export demand, the company added.

Sime Darby Plantation is a spin-off from Sime Darby Berhad. Last year, the group announced a split into three standalone businesses that could each focus on their core activities. REUTERS