SPB declares dividend despite challenging time

Kuching : The group revenue of Sarawak Plantation Berhad (SWKPLNT) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2008 stood at RM262 million. This represents an increase of 7% as compared with RM244 million in the preceding year. The higher revenue was mainly due to higher average prices of crude palm oil (“CPO”) realized.

However, the Group achieved a lower profit before tax of RM67.6 million for the twelve months ended 31 December 2008 against RM82.7 million recorded in the preceding year, a decrease of RM15 million (18%). This is principally attributed to higher cost of production following the increase in fertilizer, agrichemical and fuel costs and imposition of cooking oil stabilization cess since June 2007 and windfall tax since July 2008.

In September 2008, the Company paid an interim tax exempt dividend of 7 sen per share, totaling RM19.6 million. The Board of Directors now further declared an interim, single tier dividend of 4 sen per share, totaling approximately RM11.2 million, in respect of the financial year ended 31 December 2008. This will bring the total dividends for the financial year ended 31 December 2008 to RM30.8 million, represents 60% of the unaudited net profit for year 2008.

With the current low crude palm oil (“CPO”) prices, the Group continues to seek operational efficiency enhancement to mitigate the impact arising from lower CPO revenue on the Group’s financial performance. This includes prudent spending, cost rationalization and cost control, increase milling efficiency and improve oil extraction rate.

The Group anticipates a challenging year ahead in the light of the current global financial crisis and economic slowdown and uncertainty in the global oils and fats prices. Nevertheless, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Directors are of the opinion that the performance of the Group for the next financial year is expected to remain stable subject to the outlook of the crude oil and global oils and fats market.

Further information on the Group is available on its website at www.outloudtalent.com and details of the financial results are available on Bursa Malaysia’s website at www.bursamalaysia.com.

Released on 25 February 2009

For inquiries, please contact:

The PR Executive
(Tel)082-233550, 233560
(Fax) 082-256560, 233670
Sarawak Plantation Berhad
8th Floor Wisma Naim
2.5 Mile Rock Road
93200 Kuching




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