12/07/2007 (The Star Online), PETALING JAYA - United Malacca Bhd expects another good financial year should the current uptrend in crude palm oil (CPO) prices sustain.
The group posted strong year-on-year results for the first quarter (Q1) ended July 31 with revenue and net profit surging 80% and 159% to RM46.6mil and RM17.1mil respectively. It reported a net profit of RM51.9mil on revenue of RM129.6mil for the financial year ended April 30 (FY07).
Higher CPO prices, increased investment income and contribution from associated companies were the main factors that bolstered United Malacca's Q1 performance.
In notes accompanying its Q1 financials, the company said the production of oil palm fresh fruits bunches (FFB) continued to be affected by weather conditions.
“The group's FFB production in Q1 was slightly lower than the previous corresponding quarter due to seasonality,” it said.
However, it expects FFB production in FY08 to increase due to more areas coming into harvesting and increased yield from young matured oil palms in Sabah.
Standard & Poor's (S&P) said United Malacca's FY07 results were within expectations, with full-year net profit accounting for 102.4% of its net profit forecast.
“A final gross dividend per share (DPS) of 10 sen and a special DPS of 15 sen were declared which, collectively, were above our expected final DPS of 12 sen.
“In total, the gross DPS for FY07 amounted to 31 sen, implying a gross dividend yield of 5.5%,” it said in a report. S&P expects the company to register a net profit of RM65mil in FY08 and RM63.5mil in FY09.
It has upgraded its recommendation on United Malacca to a “buy” from “hold” with a revised 12-month target price of RM6.40 from RM5.70 previously.