AGRIBUSINESS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Wilmar eyes China expansion

Management intends to further expand its businesses in rice, flour and related consumer products.

Wilmar is expected to list its Chinese operations by early 2019 after ending the current financial year. According to UOB Kay Hian, the firm is looking to float only 10% of its shares, and then slowly increase the float at a better valuation.  UOB Kay Hian analyst Leow Huey Chuen noted that as of end-2017, all of Wilmar’s businesses in China have been restructured under one onshore company in China. "Management intends to further expand its businesses in rice, flour and related consumer products in China and other Southeast Asian countries. Currently, Wilmar’s rice and flour-related businesses in China are running at full capacity," he added. In line with that, capital expenditure for 2018 is expected to be on par with that of 2017. "We forecast capex of US$1b for 2018 vs US$879m in 2017," Leow added.

Wilmar International reaped a bountiful harvest in 2017 as its profits grew 25.4% to $1.58b (US$1.2b).

According to OCBC Investment Research, the good performance in Oilseeds & Grains and strong contributions from joint ventures and associates (mainly from China, India and Africa) were offset by weaker results in the Tropical Oils and Sugar businesses.

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