(Updated)

PPB 4Q net profit rises on Wilmar contribution, declares 38 sen dividends

PPB 4Q net profit rises on Wilmar contribution, declares 38 sen dividends
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): PPB Group Bhd's fourth-quarter (4Q) net profit increased 10.13% to RM385.39 million from RM349.95 million a year earlier, partly helped by profit contribution from 18.5%-owned Singapore-listed Wilmar International Ltd as conglomerate PPB's revenue fell due to the impact of the Covid-19-driven movement restrictions to curb the spread of the outbreak.

In a Bursa Malaysia filing today, PPB said profit contribution from agribusiness group Wilmar increased by RM79 million to RM387 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 (4QFY20).  

PPB said its 4QFY20 revenue fell to RM1.13 billion from RM1.18 billion. "For 2021, while we expect near-term growth to be affected by the reintroduction of stricter (Covid-19) containment measures, we believe that the impact will be less severe than what we experienced in 2020," said PPB, the businesses of which, include flour milling and cinema operations.

Wilmar's businesses include oil palm plantation and sugar milling operations, according to Wilmar's website.

For 4QFY20, PPB declared dividends of 38 sen a share comprising a final dividend of 22 sen and special payout of 16 sen.  

PPB said the 38 sen dividends brought the group's full-year FY20 dividends to 46 sen a share.

For the full year, PPB said cumulative FY20 net profit was up at RM1.32 billion from RM1.15 billion a year earlier, although revenue was down at RM4.19 billion from RM4.68 billion.

PPB said revenue was lower, "mainly attributable to lower revenue from film exhibition and distribution segment,” which undertakes PPB’s wholly-owned Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd’s operations.

"The group (PPB) achieved a pretax profit of RM1.42 billion for FY20, 12% higher as compared to RM1.27 billion achieved in FY19. This was mainly attributable to a 29% increase in contribution from Wilmar at RM1.24 billion,” PPB said.

Looking ahead, PPB said the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to weigh on its film exhibition and distribution and property segments, while other main business segments, which are mainly in the production and distribution of staple food and services, are expected to perform satisfactorily. 

"Wilmar's performance will continue to contribute substantially to the overall profitability of the group,” PPB said.

At 5pm today, PPB’s share price close 16 sen or 0.87% higher at RM18.48, which values the group at about RM26.24 billion.

PBB's latest-reported number of issued shares stood at 1.42 billion.

Chong Jin Hun