Sime Darby Delivers Net Profit of RM2.3 Billion, 20% Above its Targeted Headline KPI

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 August 2009 - Sime Darby Berhad reported a net profit after tax and minority interest of RM2.3 billion for the financial year ended 30 June 2009, exceeding the Group’s KPI of RM1.9 billion by 20%. The Group recorded a Return on Average Shareholders’ Funds of 10.6% versus the Group’s KPI of 8.8%.

In a year marked by extreme volatility and uncertainty in the global macro-economic environment, the Group recorded a pre-tax profit of RM3.1 billion, a decline of 41% from FY2008, on the back of a 9% decline in revenue to RM31.0 billion as compared to the previous financial year.

The Plantation Division registered a 56% decline in operating profit to RM1.7 billion compared to FY2008. This was principally driven by lower average CPO prices realised for the financial year as well as lower production as a result of biological tree stress and unfavourable weather conditions. However, production has shown significant improvement after bottoming out in 3QFY09 as yields in Malaysia and Indonesia recovered.

Notwithstanding the severe correction in global commodity prices in FY2009, the Industrial Division continued its sterling performance, reporting a 24% increase in operating profit to RM862 million compared to the previous year, driven mainly by its South East Asian and Australasian operations.

Despite the uncertain outlook on the property sector in the beginning of the financial year, the Property Division registered a 4% growth year-on-year in operating profit to RM462 million.

Even in the face of a difficult environment for consumer related businesses, the Motors Division remained resilient and posted an increase of 13% in operating profit compared to the previous year to RM179 million in FY2009.

Commenting on the overall results, Sime Darby President and Group Chief Executive Dato' Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid said, “I am pleased with the performance of the Group especially since we are emerging from a very challenging business environment in a relatively strong position. Our performance is a further testament of our conglomerate business model.”

He also added that the Group remains committed to pursuing its objectives of divesting its non-core businesses and focusing on its core sectors. “All our businesses must continue to perform above the required hurdle rates to justify their presence in the Group. In fact, since 2005, we have divested more than 30 non-core and non-performing assets and raised nearly RM3 billion. The capital raised has been redeployed to strengthen our core businesses.” he said. “Going forward, we will continue to restructure our portfolio relentlessly in response to changes in the Group’s strategic business environment.”

He also paid tribute to the employees of Sime Darby for their hard work, dedication and commitment in this difficult operating environment. “We strongly believe that our robust pool of talent, combined with their steely determination in the face of such adverse business conditions, will bring the company to greater heights. They are indeed our most valuable asset.”

The Group proposes a final single tier dividend of 15.3 sen per share for the financial year ended 30 June 2009. Including the interim dividend paid of 5 sen per share less Malaysian income tax at 25%, total gross dividend for the year will be 20.3 sen per share.
 
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