BOUSTEAD CONFIDENT AMIDST TRYING TIMES

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2, 2009 - Having completed sterling results in the challenging financial year of 2008, Boustead Holdings Berhad, (Boustead Group) is positive on its outlook for 2009 despite trying market conditions.

For its just concluded financial year, the Group recorded a profit after tax of RM668 million for the year ended 31 December 2008. Earnings per share was 91 sen while net assets per share were RM4.47. Total dividend payout for the year was 30 sen per share.

YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad, said, "Our key divisions have performed more than satisfactory with plantation, property and heavy industries leading the way in delivering the bulk of the Group's profits. In addition, our conscientious strategy to increase our stake in key operating businesses have brought us significant positive results due to the drop in minority interest and reduction in tax expenses."

"The Boustead Group has remained focus in its involvement of its core business being the Plantation Division. Profits from this Division has jumped to RM270 million compared with the previous financial year of RM201 million. In spite of the decrease in crude palm oil prices during the second half of the financial year, the Division recorded a higher average selling price of RM2,794 per MT in comparison with the RM2,279 per MT achieved in 2007, representing an increase of 23% on a year-on-year basis. In essence, we are confident that our efforts to improve oil extraction rates, reduce cost and increase prime mature fields will assist the Group during these hard times."

The Group's Heavy Industry Division recorded a profit of RM184 million even with lower progress billings on the vessel construction project undertaken by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd.

The Property Division recorded its best profit to date with a remarkable 73% jump in profit to RM147 million as compared with RM85 million last year. This was largely due to the sale of corporate lots at the highly sought after Mutiara Damansara development in Selangor. The Manufacturing and Services Division also recorded a profit of RM20 million compared with RM10 million achieved last year despite the overall slowdown in domestic demand.

In addition, the Group surpassed most of its key performance indicators for Government Linked Companies. The Groups Return on Equity was 22.2% versus our target of 14%. Return on Assets was 9.7%, marginally off against the target of 11% while Dividend payout was 60% versus our target of 40%.

"For this financial year we will increase our resolve to work harder, implement more innovative ideas and review cost structures. We will not be retrenching, neither will we freeze increments and be negative about what lies ahead. At the same time, we are aware that it will be a volatile year. However, with our diversified business portfolios, I am confident that we will remain profitable, it may be less than the last financial year, but there will be profit,"YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Lodin concluded.

Since its inception as a modest trading entity more than 180 years ago, 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 Boustead Group's operations are focused in six key areas; plantation, heavy industries, property, finance & investment, trading and manufacturing & services. As at 31 December 2008, Boustead Holdings Berhad's paid-up capital is RM326 million, while its shareholders' funds stand at RM2.9 billion.

Forward looking statements

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial conditions, results of operations and business of the Group and certain plans and objectives of Boustead Holdings Berhad with respect to these items. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and there are many factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

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Issued on behalf of: Boustead Holdings Berhad By: acorn communications sdn bhd
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