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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

30/10/2003

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Bernama

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Golden Hope To Further Expand Operations In Europe
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 (Bernama) -- Golden Hope Plantations Bhd (GHPB) willfurther expand its operations in Europe by setting up a new plant for theproduction of its customised palm oil products, its chairman Tan Sri AhmadSarji Abdul Hamid said.

"We are looking to new investment and currently are in the midst ofevaluating to have another production line at our existing refinery inEurope, he told reporters after the company's annual general here Monday.

Ahmad Sarji said GHPB hadmade a right decision when it acquired UnimillsBV, the second largest oil refinery in Europe.

Unimill's main produce are blends and modified (hydrogenerated andinterestified) oils of various types, customised for the margarine andbakery industry and for technical applications.

Its main markets are Europe (including Eastern Europe) and to a limitedextent, North Africa.

He said the proposal on the new plant would be referred to the Boardmembers who are expected to meet very soon.

In line with its consolidation and strengthening strategy on its corecompetencies, the group has consolidated the oils and fats operation intoa new division called the Oil and Fats Division, which integrates all theactivities of the group's refineries Netherlands (Unimills), Malaysia(Golden Jomalina), Vietnam (Golden Hope-Nhabe) and China (Jiangyin-GoldenHope).

In addition the group also established the Global Marketing Team (GMTf)dedicated to the edible Oils and Fats Division to plan and developstrategic marketing and to support the operating units in optimising theirmarketing activities.

Earlier, Ahmad Sarji announced that GHPB was declaring a final dividend of15 sen at its AGM today, making the total dividend for the financial yearJune 30, 2003 at a total of 22 sen to be distributed by the company in the2002/2003 financial year.

The announcement was made after the company posted an improved pre-taxprofit of RM360.3 million, which was more than double the previous year'sperformance of RM155.5 million.

Ahmad Sarji said the increase in earnings was mainly attributed toincrease in contribution from Agribusiness supported by the favourablepalm oil prices and the increse in Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) as well asCrude Palm Oil (CPO) output coupled with an encouraging better productioncosts.

FFB increased by about 10.5 percent for the financial year ending June 30,2003.

It has managed to increase in its average oil extraction to attain theaverage selling price of RM1,453 compared to RM1,061 last financial year.

He said earnings were also seen from the oleochemicals and the propertydivisions which contributed RM35 million and RM49 million respectively.

On the rationalising its businesses to further focus on plantations andagribusiness with Island and Peninsular Bhd (I&P), Ahmad Sarji said thisRM3.6 billion exercise involves the share and asset swapping with I&P andthis would end up making GHPB the second largest plantation entity in thecountry.

-- BERNAMA