SPB Half Year Performance Up by RM10 million

Kuching : The revenue of plantation group Sarawak Plantation Berhad (SWKPLNT) for the six months ended 30th June 2008 stood at RM136.7million. This represents an increase of 48% as compared with RM92.1million reported in the corresponding period of the preceding year.

The higher revenue was mainly due to higher average prices of crude palm oil (“CPO”) realized. The Group also achieved a higher profit before tax of RM37.5 million for the six months ended 30th June 2008 against RM27.6 million recorded in the corresponding period of the preceding year, an increase of RM9.9 million (36%). The lower percentage of increase in profit before tax in current quarter is mainly attributed by higher cost of production following the increase in fuel and fertilizer costs and imposement of cooking stabilization cess since June 2007.

In April 2008, the Company paid the earlier declared dividend of 6.75 sen gross per share, totaling approximately RM14 million. In addition, the shareholders of the Company had during the Annual General Meeting held in June 2008, approved a final dividend of 7.20 sen gross per share, totaling approximately RM14.9 million, which was paid on 28 July 2008. This brought the total net dividends in respect of the financial year ended 31 December 2007 to RM28.9 million, 40% of the 2007 net profit.

With the recent escalating costs in particular fuel and fertilizer costs, the Group is continuously seeking operational efficiency enhancement to mitigate the impact arising from cost increase on the Group’s financial performance. This includes prudent spending, yield improvement by implementing good agronomic practices, intensifying infield mechanization activities, increasing milling efficiency and improving oil extraction rate.

In addition, the Group’s seed garden is currently producing 1.8 million seeds, having the capacity to increase to 4 million by 2011. The elite mother palms were supplied in collaboration with Malaysia Palm Oil Board (“MPOB”) to produce high FFB yield, high oil to bunch ratio and low height increment. In this regard, the Group recently obtained SIRIM certificate in June 2008. This enables the Group to produce seeds both for internal use and for sale. With this, the Group is able to supply seeds for planting on the Group’s land bank and NCR joint venture lands, as well as supplying high quality seeds to smallholders nearby its estates and mills.

With better performance for the six months ended 30 June 2008, the Group is confident of achieving better results for the current financial year as compared to 2007.

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 6 August 2008

For inquiries, please contact:
The Corporate Finance Manager (Tel) 082-233550 / 233560 (Fax) 082 233670 / 256560
Sarawak Plantation Berhad
8th Floor Wisma Naim
2 ?Mile Rock Road
93200 Kuching




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