AGRIBUSINESS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Olam International Q1 profits up 9.8% to $157.97m

Its sales jumped 8.5% to $6.3b.

The first quarter of 2018 brought good harvest for Olam International as its profits grew 9.8% in a year from $143.81m to $157.97m. Total sales also jumped 8.5% from $5.8b to $6.3m.

According to its financial statement, profits were boosted by lower net finance costs and taxes, but earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 7.7% as declines were witnessed across all segments except industrial raw materials (up 6.4% to $66.2m).

Earnings from edible nuts, spices & vegetable ingredients dipped 1.6% to $135.8m. Earnings from confectionery & beverage ingredients were down 18.4% to $61.2m.

Food staples & packaged foods segment slipped 15.1% to $100.4m whilst Commodity Financial Services (CFS) segment was marginally down from $5.1m to $4.5m.

Within the quarter, Olam bought 30% of Vietnam’s second largest cashew processor Long Son Joint Stock Company and 100% of Inversiones Andinas J&V S.A.C and added new products to its edible nuts portfolio. The company was also able to sell its 50% interest in Nauvu Investments to Wilmar International and all of PT ACE Dalle Kokoa Manufaktur for US$14m.

"Whilst global markets continue to experience political and economic uncertainties, Olam believes its diversified and well-balanced portfolio provides a resilient platform to navigate the challenges in both the global economy and commodity markets," Olam commented. "It remains focused on turning around underperforming businesses, ensuring gestating businesses reach full potential and delivering positive free cash flow."

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