Boustead's FY08 results hold up

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KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Holdings Bhd's earnings held up, rising 21% to RM579 million in its year ended Dec 31, 2008 (FY08) despite a 38% decline in net profit in the fourth quarter.

Net profit fell to RM110.59 million in the last three months to Dec 31, 2008 from RM179.17 million a year earlier as revenue fell 44% to RM1.23 billion from RM2.19 billion, mainly due to lower crude palm oil (CPO) prices.It proposed a final dividend of 12.5 sen payable on May 18, 2009 as earnings per share rose to 91 sen from 79 sen and net assets per share increased to RM4.47 from RM3.75. It had earlier declared interim dividends totalling 17.5 sen. Revenue rose 22% to RM7.03 billion in FY08 from RM5.75 billion in FY07.

In a statement yesterday, Boustead group managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said: "The significant 22% jump in turnover to RM7 billion has indeed been a commendable one, more so due to the challenging financial year we have just experienced."

"In addition to delivering strong organic growth to our bottom line, we also saw profit attributable to shareholders grow by more than RM100 million. Our improved performance was due the drop in minority interests and lower tax expenses."

The plantation division remained a key contributor to the group's revenue by registering an improved profit of RM270 million compared with RM201 million in FY07. It posted a higher average selling price of RM2,794 per tonne versus RM2,279 per tonne in FY07.

The heavy industries division recorded a profit of RM184 million even with lower progress billings on the vessel construction project undertaken by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd.

The property division recorded a 73% jump in profit to RM147 million, its best profit to date, from RM85 million in FY07 due to the sale of corporate lots at the Mutiara Damansara development in Selangor. The manufacturing and services division recorded a profit of RM20 million versus RM10 million in the previous year.

"Although the group experienced a difficult year, I am pleased to inform that we surpassed most of our key performance indicators for government linked companies. The group's return on equity was 22.2% versus our target of 14%. Return on Assets was 9.7%, marginally off against the target of 11% while dividend payout was 60% versus our target of 40%," said Lodin Wok.