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Weakness in tropical oils, sugar businesses weigh down Q3 earnings at Wilmar

WEAKER results in the tropical oils and sugar businesses were a drag on Wilmar International's third-quarter earnings, offsetting the good performance from the oilseeds and grains business and strong contributions from associates.

The agribusiness group on Monday posted a 5.7 per cent slide in net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 to US$370 million, down from US$392.2 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue inched up 0.4 per cent to US$11.13 billion, supported by higher sales from the oilseeds and grains business.

Net profit for the nine months to Sept 30 surged 92.4 per cent to US$791.8 million, while revenue rose 9.7 per cent to US$32.3 billion.

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Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 5.9 US cents, lower than the 6.2 US cents previously. Net asset value per share stood at 243.3 US cents as at Sept 30, compared with 228.5 US cents as at Dec 31 last year.

Chairman and chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong said that the group expects the good performance in the oilseeds and grains segment to continue into the fourth quarter, with crush margins and volume remaining positive. The performance of the other major business segments is expected to be satisfactory, he added.

"With good economic performance in key Asian countries, we remain optimistic about the future of Asia. We will continue with our expansion plans, especially in oilseeds and grains, including consumer products," said Mr Kuok.

Wilmar shares closed 0.3 per cent or one Singapore cent up at S$3.32 on Monday, before the results were out.