KUALA LUMPUR, May 18, 2009 – In spite of the global economic turmoil, Boustead Holdings Berhad (Boustead) is declaring a dividend of 5 sen or 10% for its first quarter ended 31 March 2009. This is a testament of the Group’s commitment to its shareholders even with uncertainties prevailing in the economy.
For its quarter under review, the Group registered a profit before tax of RM86 million which is an improvement over the preceding quarter’s profit of RM20 million. However, the said profit was 63% lower than the previous year’s corresponding quarter.
The Group’s turnover of RM1.2 billion for its first quarter was also lower than the RM1.8 billion recorded during the same period last year. For the period under review, earnings per share was 9.34 sen while net assets per share was RM4.56.
YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamarrudin, Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad commented, “This has been a trying quarter for the Group given that on a year on year comparison, we have seen a drop in profit before tax. Fortunately, our first quarter profits in comparison with the preceding fourth quarter of 2008 shows a marked improvement.”
“What is crucial at this juncture in time is for the Group to remain profitable of which we are and to ensure that our cashflow is in positive territory. We do not expect conditions to improve immediately, however we are optimistic that on a long-term basis, the Boustead Group will weather this storm. Our inherent potential lies in our core Divisions, and we are doubling our efforts to maintain organic growth. This will certainly not be easy given the current market conditions and sentiments. Nevertheless, we have an obligation to our shareholders and we intend to fulfill this. Hence, the payment of dividends for the first quarter of this financial year.”
The Plantation Division recorded a lower profit of RM23.7 million due primarily to the drastic drop in crude palm oil prices. For the first quarter, the Division recorded an average palm oil price of RM1,886 per MT representing a decrease of 38% against last year’s corresponding period’s average of RM3,029 per MT.
“At a time like this, we are still confident that the Plantation Division will be a major contributor to the Group’s bottom line. Moreover, palm oil prices have made a recovery in early 2009 and recently achieved a high of RM2,800. Obviously, tightening supply conditions are having a strain on availability of stock which is also driving prices up. As such, we look forward for more positive contributions from this Division.”
The Heavy Industries Division contributed to the Group’s bottom line with a cumulative profit of RM30.9 million. A significant milestone for this year will be the expected delivery of Patrol Vessel 3 to the Royal Malaysian Navy by end of May 2009. In addition, the division is targeting to deliver several vessels during the financial year which includes chemical tankers and anchor handling tug support vessels.
“For the quarter under review, the Trading Division also recorded positive gains as it registered a modest profit compared with the preceding quarter as a result of greater stability in crude oil prices, while the Property Division registered a pre-tax profit of RM17.9 million.”
“As we start this year on a sober note, we will not view this economic downturn as a barrier to sustain earnings but as a good opportunity to evaluate our strategies and undergo positive changes to make us more resilient in the long term. Towards this end, we would like to assure our shareholders that the Group is strong financially and we will continue to make sound decisions that will enable us to move forward in the right direction.”
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.
Issued on behalf of: Boustead Holdings Berhad By: acorn communications sdn bhd
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