Palm Oil Firm Wilmar Q2 Net Triples

SINGAPORE, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Wilmar (WLIL.SI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest listed palm oil firm, said on Thursday its quarterly net profit more than tripled on high palm oil prices, but warned of moderating prices and a more challenging environment ahead.

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 said in a 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, thanks to improved margins and buoyant palm oil prices.

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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