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Wilmar International reported an 8.7% decline in earnings to U SSI .1 billion ($1.55 billion) for FY2015. Core net earnings, which exclude non-operating items, fell 4.4% to Sl.2 billion for the financial year to December, primarily due to foreign exchange losses.
Group revenue declined 10% to $38.8 billion, due to lower commodity prices. However, this was offset by the strong growth in sales volume and higher margins.
The tropical oils segment recorded a 4% decrease in sales volumes to 23.5 million MT, which resulted from lower crude palm oil prices, weak demand and lower margins, despite the 4% improvement in production yield to 21.4MT per hectare.
Fresh fruit bunch production rose 4% to 4.5 million MT. The oilseeds & grains segment reported a 19% growth in sales volumes to a record 23.6 million MT, driven by the record volume of soybean crushed and stable crushing margins. In particular, the consumer products businesses recorded a 12% increase in sales volumes to 5.1 million MT.
The sugar segment was boosted by higher sugar prices during the quarter, and partially offset by the translation effect from a weaker Australian dollar. Sugar sales volumes rose 35% to 13.1 billion MT with higher merchandising and milling activities.
Wilmar has declared a final dividend of 5.5 cents per share for the current financial period. While the business environment is expected to remain challenging, Wilmar says its resilient business model, vertical integration and its strong balance sheet will allow the group to continue to perform well.
Wilmar’s shares closed 2.3% higher at $3.11.
This article first appeared in The Edge Singapore Market Report.