Boustead Q1 earnings up


KUALA LUMPUR: BOUSTEAD Holdings Bhd's first quarter profit rose 29 per cent to RM144.6 million from RM112.2 million a year ago. This was mainly driven by higher profits in its pharmaceutical, property and banking businesses.

In its filing to the stock exchange yesterday, Boustead said revenue jumped 51 per cent to RM2.4 billion from RM1.59 billion. Earnings per share added up to 13.98 sen, much higher than 10.85 sen previously.  The group declared an interim dividend of 7.5 sen.

Boustead group managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, said in a statement, "Except for one division, all other divisions delivered on the bottom line". He noted that despite an RM18 million gain from the sale of aircraft by MHS Aviation, Boustead's heavy industries division suffered RM5 million losses as the work on the second generation patrol vessels has yet to move into full swing.

Lodin, who is also deputy chairman of the group, said the most significant improvement was driven by pharmaceuticals. This business raked in RM35.7 million in profits, four times of last year's RM9.1 million. The significant increase is mainly due to the consolidation of Pharmaniaga Bhd into the group's portfolio.

For the three months to March 2012, Boustead's oil palm business posted lower profits at RM92.2 million compared to RM99 million a year ago. This was because the average palm oil selling price was RM3,143 per tonne, 11 per cent lower than RM3,541 per tonne recorded in the first quarter of 2011.

Boustead's trading and manufacturing profits rose 22 per cent to RM35.1 million, thanks to higher sales volume and stock holding gains. 

Its banking business held under Affin group did well when its profits more than doubled to RM26.1 million.

Earlier this year, the group sold off a piece of vacant land and this bumped up its property development division's profits to RM40 million, more than three times that of RM12 million previously.

On this year's outlook, Lodin said Boustead is cautiously optimistic of chalking up another year of good profits.

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