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Malaysia plantation company Felda reports net profit, buoyed by palm fruit output
November 23, 2017 / 6:20 AM / 18 days ago

Malaysia plantation company Felda reports net profit, buoyed by palm fruit output

* Posted net profit of 38.8 million ringgit in Q3

* That compares to net loss at same time last year

* Operations bolstered by growth in palm fruit output

* Company was plunged into management crisis earlier in year

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s Felda Global Ventures Bhd, the world’s No.3 palm plantation operator, chalked up a net profit in the quarter that ended in September versus a net loss in the same period last year, buoyed by increased production of palm fruit.

The company posted a net profit of 38.8 million ringgit ($9.44 million) in its third quarter, compared with a net loss of 73.6 million ringgit the previous year, it said on Thursday in a statement to the local stock exchange.

Revenue dipped to 4.15 billion ringgit, versus 4.19 billion ringgit the year before.

FGV said its quarterly production of palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) grew by 18 percent on-year, with its plantation operations also boosted by robust palm oil prices.

Higher margins in the company’s fertilizer business and increased profits in its logistics operations contributed to profits during the first nine months of 2017, chief executive Zakaria Arshad said in a statement.

“Based on the significant improvement in our FFB production for October, we expect FGV to perform better at the close of the financial year compared to 2016,” he said.

That comes after FGV was plunged into a management crisis in June when Zakaria was forced to step aside during an investigation initiated by the firm’s chairman at the time into transactions at a subsidiary.

But the chairman later resigned and Zakaria, who denied any wrongdoing, was reinstated in mid-October following a four-month leave of absence.

FGV’s shares were 0.6-percent lower at the midday break ahead of its results announcement, slightly underperforming the benchmark index. ($1 = 4.1120 ringgit) (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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