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Corporate
BOUSTEAD REGISTERS 345% GROWTH IN SECOND QUARTER

KUALA LUMPUR, August 25, 2006 - Boustead Holdings Berhad (Boustead) continues to leverage on its core strengths as a well diversified Malaysian conglomerate with a significant jump in profit after tax for its second quarter compared to the first quarter of its current financial year.

For its second quarter ended June 30, 2006, the Group reported an unaudited profit after tax of RM49.9 million on the back of a turnover of RM1.1 billion. This represents a significant increase of 345% or in absolute terms RM38.7 million when compared to the profit after taxation of RM11.2 million gained in the preceding quarter.

The Group continues to show remarkable consistency in delivering profitability. Earning per share for the Group was 3.94 sen as opposed to the 0.63 sen recorded in the first quarter, while net assets attributed to shareholders was RM2.98 per share.

YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad, said, "This financial year may have started with modest results in the first quarter but we are certainly confident that with our second quarter growth we are on track, barring unforeseen circumstances, to deliver another good financial year."

"The divisions are showing positive performances and I am pleased with the quarter-on-quarter growth from our property and trading divisions. Clearly our strategy to have invested in the downstream petroleum business via Boustead Petroleum Marketing Sdn Bhd has been an immediately fruitful investment initiative, as mirrored by the division's contribution to Group earnings."


The plantation division, despite fluctuating palm oil prices during the quarter under review, remained profitable and recorded a pre-tax profit of RM6.78 million from a revenue contribution of RM115.7 million. The division achieved average palm oil price of RM1,395 per metric tonne (per MT), an improvement against the RM1,371 sustained in the corresponding period last year.

"We are encouraged by crude palm oil prices (CPO) which are currently well past the RM1,500 mark. We are confident that demand for this commodity will increase especially from core markets complemented with the ample potential from biodiesel opportunities."

On the property front, the property division delivered a pre-tax profit of RM24.5 million on the back of a turnover of RM68.6 million. Higher progress billings from the division's projects and the sale of a corporate lot resulted in an increase of 129% over the preceding quarter's profits.

"Again our strategy in relation to the property division is bearing results. The Curve has turned the corner and is beginning to contribute positively to the division's earnings. We expect this property investment to remain strong moving forward."

"We expect this Division to continue in its role as one of the Group's major contributors particularly since quality niche offerings in Mutiara Damansara progressively come on and successfully meet the demands of the market."

The Finance and Investment Division went back into the black with a pre-tax profit of RM1.6 million against the last quarter's deficit of RM5.9 million. The improvement was as a result of better contributions from Affin Holdings which posted a pre-tax profit of RM75.2 million, marking an increase of 8% over the previous quarter. Affin Holding's result was also attributed to higher operating income and a reduction in non-perfuming loans. In addition, lower losses from Boustead Naval Shipyard also contributed positively to the Finance and Investment Division's overall performance.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2006 Boustead's trading division achieved exceptional pre-tax profits of RM36.71 million which denotes a significant increase of 1,240% against last quarter's pre-tax profit of RM2.74 million. This encouraging result was attributed to healthy contributions from Boustead Petroleum Marketing Sdn Bhd.

The Manufacturing and Services Division also performed better in this quarter with its pre-tax contribution of RM1.97 million denoting an increase of 247% against last quarter's per-tax profit of RM568,000..

An interim dividend of 10% for Boustead Holdings Berhad has been declared for the current financial year and this will be disbursed to shareholders on the register as of September 15, 2006.

The Group's 56% owned property subsidiary, Boustead Properties Berhad (Boustead Properties) reported a pre-tax profit of RM35.7 million from a revenue contribution of RM82.8 million for quarter ended June 30, 2006. This was in comparison to pre-tax profit of RM20.9 million registered in the first quarter of 2006, thereby marking an increase of 71%.

Again, an interim dividend of 10% for Boustead Properties has been declared for the current financial year and this will be disbursed to shareholders on the register as of September 15, 2006.

Earnings per share for Boustead Properties was 16.09 sen as opposed to the 11.84 sen recorded in the first half of last year, while net assets attributed to shareholders was RM4.41 per share.

"The increase in the number of corporate lots sold have had a tangible impact on Boustead Properties' bottom line. In addition, we are encouraged that our hotel businesses are beginning to hold their own and are contributing positively to earnings as well."

"Across the Board, these financial results are testament to the Boustead Group's diverse network of investments and our ability to manage these investments prudently in a heightened and challenging business landscape."

"As a Government Linked Company, the Boustead Group is committed to achieving the KPIs we have announced. In order to achieve this, we will continue to leverage on our fundamentals and as a result expect to continue on this course of delivering sustained earnings," YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Lodin concluded.


Since its inception as a modest trading entity for more than 178 years, the Boustead Group has grown by leaps and bounds to comprise more than 80 subsidiary and associate companies, and has substantial interests in various sectors of the Malaysian economy. The Group's operations are focused in five key areas; plantation, finance & investment, property, manufacturing and services. The Group's combined paid-up capital is currently RM296 million, while the Group's shareholders' funds as at December 31, 2005 stood at RM1.7 billion.

 


©2006 Boustead Holdings Berhad

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