Sime Darby Reports Pre-Tax Profit of RM1.96 Billion for 3Q FY 08/09

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 May 2009 - Sime Darby Berhad reported a pre-tax profit of RM1.96 billion for the nine-month period ended March 31, 2009, a reduction of 48% over the same period in the previous financial year.

The Group recorded a net profit after tax and minority interest of RM1.30 billion, a decrease of 48% from a year earlier.

The lower contribution was largely attributed to the weaker performance of the Plantation Division, which recorded a 55% decrease in operating profit to RM1.25 billion compared to the previous corresponding period, due to lower average CPO prices realized and lower production experienced across the whole industry as a result of biological tree stress.

However, despite the global slowdown, the Industrial Division continued to perform strongly with operating profit increasing by 29% to RM624 million compared to last year, mainly from its South East Asian and Australasia operations. Going forward, our order book until the end of calendar year 2009 is expected to remain strong.

In addition, the cyclically sensitive automobile and property markets have also begun to show improvement. President & Group Chief Executive of Sime Darby, Dato' Seri Ahmad Zubir noted that the Property Division’s marketing and sales efforts during the Parade of Homes Sales Campaign showed positive results.

Commenting on the results, Dato' Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid said, "Going forward there remains considerable uncertainty in the economic environment, but we are poised to take advantage of any recovery.” He added that the Group will also leverage on its strong balance sheet to seize the opportunity to acquire undervalued assets given the attractive valuations we are currently seeing.
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