Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Britain Palm Oils posts better first half figures

By Neil Hodgson 

Producer happy with pricing levels for rest of 2014

New Britain Palm Oil's dockside processing facility on Regent Road
New Britain Palm Oils (NBPO) has seen revenues and profits rise during its first half period to June 30.
The group, which produces palm oils from sustainable resources and employs about 100 staff at its Regent Road refinery, reported sales of £199.5m, up from £182.2m last year.
Pre-tax profits soared from £8.3m in 2013 to £46.2m this year.
It processed 1.3m tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) in the period, up from 1.16m, and produced 290,514 tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO), up from 254,633 the year before, as well as 29,339 tonnes of palm kernel oil (PKO), against 25,345 tonnes previously.
The average CPO price per tonne achieved in the six month period was £552.2, up from £525, and the average PKO price per tonne was £784.8, compared with £551.6 last year.
Earlier this month the business revealed that it had renewed several supply deals for its Liverpool refinery, securing contracts for “a number of multi-year supply agreements that together represent approximately 35% of utilisation”.
Chief executive Nick Thompson said: “The group’s operational performance for the first half of 2014 was very strong with record production of FFB and total oils which, together with better extraction rates, higher selling prices achieved and lower costs of production, resulted in a profit before tax of £43.2m, excluding unrealised non-cash foreign exchange gains.”
NBPO sources most of its materials from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Mr Thompson added: “The lower PNG Kina during the period continued to mitigate some of the cost pressure on our domestic wages and locally consumed services in US Dollar terms.”
He said a decision by the Central Bank of PNG increased the value of the Kina by about 18%, which resulted in net currency gains of £1.8m, compared with losses of £8.4m in the same period last year.
He added: “Palm oil prices during the period have been trading in a broad range between £490.1 and £584.6 per tonne. While the outlook for palm oil demand remains robust, the record supply of alternative vegetable oils has resulted in current prices trading at their lowest levels so far this year.
“It also appears less likely that an “El Niño” event will have a materially negative impact on global palm oil production, as was previously predicted by climate models.
“On a positive note, increasing local consumption in Malaysia and Indonesia and a strengthening of the global economy continue to be supportive for longer term pricing.
“In the context of current prices, we are pleased to have sold or priced forward approximately 81,000 tonnes of CPO for the remainder of 2014 at an average price of £536.2 per tonne.”

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