TH Plantations reports third straight quarterly loss on weak palm prices

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): TH Plantations Bhd, in which Lembaga Tabung Haji controls a 73.84% stake, announced its third consecutive quarter of net loss this evening. The plantation group posted a net loss of RM8.09 million for the financial quarter ended March 31, 2019, as better production was hampered by weak selling prices.

This translates into a loss per share of 0.92 sen, compared with earnings per share of 0.37 sen or a net profit of RM3.23 million in the previous corresponding quarter a year ago, according to its filing with Bursa Malaysia this evening.

However, its chief executive officer Muzmi Mohamed, in a separate statement, said the group, at the operational level, performed better compared with the same period last year as more fresh fruit bunches (FFB) were produced and processed while CPO output and sales also increased.

The group anticipates better production in FY19 compared with FY18 but said its performance will be dependent on the movements of palm product prices, adding that a recovery is likely to be hampered by continuously weak prices.

“However, the group’s rationalisation exercise is on course, and it expects to be in a better operational and financial position once the exercise is completed,” it added.

Its quarterly revenue fell 5% to RM115.28 million from RM121.24 million a year ago, due to lower average realised prices for crude palm oil (CPO), palm kernel (PK) and FFB.

On top of the lower selling prices, TH Plantations had booked higher amortisation charges in the quarter under review due to higher rate based on a revised annual production yield table, as well as higher finance costs by RM4.74 million as a result of the adoption of Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS).

The group said its FFB production increased by 12% during the quarter under review, while FFB yield per hectare and oil extraction rate increased by 7.7% and 20.2% respectively.

The losses at forestry business segment narrowed 17% due to lower operating expenses.

Lightly traded, shares in TH Plantations closed two sen or 4.26% up at 49 sen, for a market capitalisation of RM433.09 million.