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August 15, 2008

Singapore’s Wilmar earns over $331m in Q2
Singapore-based Wilmar, the world’s largest listed palm oil firm, saw its quarterly net profit more than tripled to $331.7 million on high palm oil prices, said Reuters on Thursday.

Singapore-headquartered Wilmar International Ltd said easing demand for palm oil due to a slowing global economy, coupled with ample supply from Malaysia and Indonesia, would keep prices subdued for the rest of the year.

It is still optimistic its full-year performance will be “satisfactory”, helped by a strong showing from its China operations, the company was quoted by Reuters as saying in its statement.

Commodity prices, including palm oil, have been falling since early July. Malaysia’s benchmark contract KPOc3 for palm oil futures was quoted at 2,620 ringgit ($788) per tonne on Thursday, down 42 percent since a record 4,486 ringgit a tonne in March.

Wilmar, which owns oil palm plantations and runs milling, crushing, refining and processing plants in Indonesia and Malaysia, earned $331.7 million in the April-June quarter, compared with $101.5 million a year ago, due mainly to improved margins and buoyant palm oil prices. Its revenue in the second quarter more than doubled to $7.83 billion.

The company made its trading debut in Singapore in August 2006 following a reverse takeover of Ezyhealth Asia Pacific.

Last year, it completed the purchase of the palm plantation and edible oils businesses belonging to Malaysia’s Kuok Group, a move which doubled its plantation landbank to about 570,000 hectares (1.4 million acres).

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