BOUSTEAD SOARS WITH 110% INCREASE IN HALF YEAR PROFITS

KUALA LUMPUR , August 19, 2008 – Amidst global uncertainty, rising cost and depressed market sentiments, Boustead Holdings Berhad (BHB) has done it again. For the first half of its financial year ended 30 June 2008, the Group posted an unaudited profit before tax of RM450 million on the back of a turnover of RM3.9 billion, compared with the previous financial year’s profit of RM214 million. This enormous jump in profit before tax represents an increase of 110%.

For the period under review, earnings per share was 48 sen (2007: 24 sen). Net assets per share was RM4.07 (31 December, 2007: RM3.75). As a result of the Group’s on-going consistent performance, the Board of Directors declared a second interim dividend of 5 sen which brings total dividend for the first half to 10 sen (2007: 5 sen).

YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad, said, “We are very pleased that we have delivered above and beyond our expectations in conditions that are totally subject to increased variables and heightened uncertainty. Being at the half way point in the financial year of 2008 and given our resilience, we are confident of sustaining our results.”

“Given the diversity of the Group, the healthiness of our balance sheet and the fact that we are seizing opportunities from an organic growth perspective, we are confident with our delivery moving forward.

”The Plantation Division maintained its lead as the main contributor to the Group’s profit achieving a pre-tax profit of RM178 million compared with RM67 million achieved in the previous year’s corresponding period. During the first half of 2008, the Division recorded an average palm oil price of RM3,134 per MT, a 53% increase from last year’s RM2,051 per MT. Fresh fruit bunches production totaling 571,286 MT also increased compared with last year.

Another major contributor to the Group’s profit was the Heavy Industries Division. The Division posted a pre-tax profit of RM150 million due to the consolidation of earnings from new subsidiaries, Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) and Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC). BNS’s earnings were driven primarily from the construction of patrol vessels while BHIC’s earnings improved due to shipbuilding projects.

During the period under review, the Property Division performed significantly well with a pre-tax profit of RM53 million registering a 21% growth compared with the previous period. Key contributing factors included the strategic sales of several corporate lots and above all strengthened sustained earnings from the Group’s Royale Bintang hotels and the Curve.

As a result of stronger commodity prices particularly mineral oil, the Trading Division led by BHPetrol saw exponential growth in earnings due to increase in sales volume and stock-holding gains. This Division registered a pre-tax profit of RM45 million compared with RM14 million achieved in the first half of last year.

“When the Boustead Group initially took active steps to get involved in the hotel as well as the marine and downstream petroleum retail sector, our initiatives were frowned upon by certain parties. Fortunately, we stood strong to the belief that these strategic moves were relevant to the Group particularly on a long term basis. Today, we are reaping the fruits of our strategy as we see Royale Bintang hotels, BHPetrol, BNS and BHIC deliver consistently growing contributions to our top-line and bottom-line.

For the current period, the Finance and Investment Division posted a pre-tax profit of RM8.8 million. The Manufacturing and Services Division registered a pre-tax profit of RM15 million compared with a loss of RM943,000 for the same period last year.

“At a time when global markets are experiencing uncertainty and optimism in Malaysia is indeed cautious, we are positive of sustaining our results for the second half of this financial year,” 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 30 June 2008, Boustead Holdings Berhad’s paid-up capital is RM315 million, while its shareholders’ funds stand at RM2.6 billion. Market capitalisation currently is in excess of RM3 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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