SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Golden Agri-Resources Ltd’s quarterly net profit fell by more than half from a year ago, hit by foreign exchange-related losses which largely wiped out most of the higher revenues from stronger palm oil prices.
The Singapore-listed firm on Monday reported a quarterly net profit of $38 million, versus $94 million a year ago, largely due to the foreign exchange loss of $1.2 million.
Revenue jumped 37 percent from a year ago to over $2 billion for the three-months that ended March, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 29 percent.
“The strong performance was supported by the appreciation of crude palm oil (CPO) market prices coupled with the continued recovery in palm production as the impact of El Nino eased,” the company said in a statement.
Benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures averaged 2,900 ringgit ($670.52) per tonne over the period, above the year-ago average of 2,588 ringgit.
The company said it expects CPO prices to remain supported by global demand growth, including the implementation of Indonesia’s biodiesel mandate that would help mop up the top producer’s supplies, as well as lower stocks.
Palm prices are currently near 2,680 ringgit.
Earlier in the day, Olam International Ltd’s chief executive said he sees CPO prices of between 2,200 ringgit and 2,700 ringgit this year. The commodity trader reported a 26.6 percent rise in its first-quarter profit.
Golden Agri’s palm product output in the first quarter rose 26 percent to 696,000 tonnes as the crop damaging dryness linked to an El Nino weather pattern gradually faded, it said.
“For the rest of the year, we expect performance to be supported mainly by increasing production volume,” said Franky Widjaja, the company’s chief executive officer. ($1 = 4.3250 ringgit) (Reporting by Himani Sarkar; Editing by Miral Fahnt)