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UPDATE 1-First Resources Q2 profit dips as palm oil selling price weakens
August 13, 2014 / 4:13 AM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-First Resources Q2 profit dips as palm oil selling price weakens

* Benefit of high prices on forward sales last year fades

* First Resources may miss 2014 results forecast -analyst

* Bumitama Agri Q2 net profit jumps (Adds analyst comments, FY estimate, Bumitama Agri result, context)

SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - First Resources Ltd said second-quarter net profit slipped 31 percent from a year earlier, when higher-than-market prices on forward sales of crude palm oil bumped up earnings.

The company, which mainly operates oil palm plantations and mills in Indonesia, reported net profit of $26 million for the quarter ended June. Net income for the first six months of the year dropped nearly 30 percent to $71 million.

“They had a disproportionate advantage versus the other companies last year, as they locked in some attractive forward sales which gave them higher-than-market CPO (crude palm oil) price realization,” said Conrad Werner, Singapore research head at Macquarie Capital Securities. “This year it isn’t the case.”

It will therefore be difficult for First Resources to achieve an increase in full-year results as indicated by consensus, he added.

The mean full-year profit forecast stands at $227 million based on estimates by 17 analysts, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The decrease in second-quarter net profit was exacerbated by losses on foreign exchange, which more than doubled from a year earlier, as well as a higher tax rate.

The company said sales volumes of crude palm oil rose 6.7 percent, but the value of sales fell 17.9 percent, even though palm oil prices were generally better than the second quarter in 2013.

In contrast, the price improvement helped Bumitama Agri Ltd , another Indonesia-based oil palm plantation owner, book a 90 percent net profit jump.

Shares in First Resources slipped more than 6 percent to a six-month low of S$2.06 after the earnings, underperforming a 0.2 percent fall in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

First Resources declared an interim dividend of 1.25 Singapore cents, unchanged from a year earlier. (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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