Wilmar 2Q profit surges on oilseeds and grains business

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SINGAPORE (Aug 13): Singapore-listed commodity trader Wilmar International Ltd posted a five-fold rise in second-quarter net profit, helped by its oilseeds and grains segment that benefited from higher volumes and crush margins.

The company, whose top shareholders include US agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co, reported a net profit of US$316.4 million for the three months ended June, compared with US$59 million a year earlier.

Wilmar posted a core net profit, which excludes non-operating items, of US$351.8 million, compared with US$36.1 million a year earlier.

The company's oilseeds and grains business posted a pretax profit of US$290.2 million versus US$60.3 in the year-earlier period. Losses in the sugar segment narrowed in the quarter, while its tropical oils reported a 165% increase in pretax profit.

"The trade tensions between the US and China improved crush margins in the short term, thus benefitting our oilseeds crushing business," Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

"However, a prolonged dispute between the two countries will have a negative impact on crush margins due to lower plant utilisation," he added.