* Astra’s 2016 profit 15.16 trln rupiah vs 14.46 trln
* Palm oil arm’s profit surged 224 pct, auto 23 pct
* Financial services arm underperforms on provisions (Adds financial details)
By Eveline Danubrata
JAKARTA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk on Monday reported an almost 5 percent rise in 2016 net profit, lifted by its auto distribution and plantation units.
The company made a net profit of 15.16 trillion rupiah ($1.14 billion) for the full year ended Dec. 31, compared with 14.46 trillion rupiah in 2015.
Net profit at its auto distribution business, the biggest in the country, rose 23 percent to 9.17 trillion rupiah mainly due to its launch of new models, the company said in a statement.
Its agribusiness reported a 224 percent surge in profit due to a recovery in palm oil prices and the strengthening of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.
Financial services delivered the worst performance with a 78 percent plunge in net profit.
PT Bank Permata Tbk, which is nearly 45 percent-owned by Astra, made a net loss of 6.5 trillion rupiah for 2016 due to an increase in provisions.
However, Astra President Director Prijono Sugiarto said earlier this week that the conglomerate will not sell its stake in Permata.
Last month, Indonesian tycoon Tahir told Reuters he was interested in buying all of Permata and merging it with PT Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk, starting with the stake held by Asia-focused Standard Chartered.
$1 = 13,341.00 rupiah Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Louise Heavens