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Wilmar achieves highest EBITDA since listing despite low palm oil and sugar prices - 2018 Annual Report

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Wilmar International Limited (Wilmar)

Source: Wilmar

Wilmar is a leading agribusiness group in Asia. The company holds an integrated business model that spans the entire value chain of the agriculture commodity trade. Headquartered in Singapore, Wilmar has over 500 manufacturing plants and distributes to more than 50 countries.

FY 2018 Financial Highlights:

Source: Wilmar FY 2018 Presentation slides

  • Wilmar’s FY 2018 EBITDA increased by 12% year-on-year to USD 2.94 billion, the highest level recorded since its listing on the Singapore Exchange.
  • Meanwhile, the company’s core net profit grew 27% year-on-year to USD 1.30 billion.
  • FY 2018 revenue also rose 2% to USD 44.50 billion, on the back of higher sales volume recorded across all segments.
  • On the other hand, Wilmar’s FY 2018 net profit (excluding discontinued operations) dropped by 3.5% year-on-year to USD 1.15 billion. Overall net profit (including discontinued operations) also declined by 5.7% to USD 1.13 billion.
  • This was largely attributed to an impairment provision of USD 138.6 million made on the company’s goodwill and sugar milling assets in Australia.

Performance Drivers:

Source: Wilmar FY 2018 Presentation slides

Wilmar registered improved operating performance across all core segments, except their Palm Plantation and Sugar Milling segments, which were negatively impacted by low palm oil and sugar prices.

Performance Drivers (Positive Factors)

  • Tropical Oils (Plantation, Manufacturing & Merchandising)

Wilmar’s Tropical Oils (Plantation, Manufacturing & Merchandising) segment achieved a 37% year-on-year jump in pretax profit to USD 546.1 million in FY 2018. This increase was driven by higher contributions from the manufacturing and merchandising businesses – where sales volume rose 5% to 24.3 million metric tons (MT) in FY 2018 – as a result of consistently strong demand for biodiesel and downstream products. Further, the downstream business benefitted from lower feedstock costs due to declining commodity prices.

On the flip side, the lower palm oil prices led to smaller contributions from the plantation business. Nevertheless, favorable weather conditions saw production yield improve 10% year-on-year to 21.6 MT per hectare, while production of fresh fruit bunches rose 7% year-on-year to 4,189,728 MT.

  • Oilseeds & Grains (Manufacturing & Consumer Products)

Wilmar’s Oilseeds & Grains (Manufacturing & Consumer Products) clocked a 20% year-on-year surge in FY 2018 pre-tax profit to USD 875.0 million, on the back of a 12% increase in overall sales volume to 37.2 million MT during the year. A large part of the increase was derived from the Consumer Products business, which saw a 10% rise in sales to 6.0 million MT in FY 2018. This segment also experienced improved crush margins and volume over the year.

Performance Drivers (Negative Factors)

  • Sugar (Milling, Merchandising, Refining & Consumer Products)

Wilmar’s Sugar (Milling, Merchandising, Refining & Consumer Products) suffered a pre-tax loss of USD 123.0 million in FY 2018, compared to the loss of USD 24.6 million in FY 2017. This loss was mostly as a result of the USD 138.6 million impairment provision made for the company’s milling operations in Australia. Although the milling operations have been generating positive cash flows since acquisition, Wilmar decided to adopt a conservative approach in view of the declining sugar prices over the past year. There were also further losses from Wilmar’s newly-acquired Indian subsidiary, Shree Renuka Sugars, as it only commenced its operations in late October.

On a positive note, the Merchandising business in this segment experienced a 7% year-on-year improvement in FY 2018 sales volume to 11.7 million MT.

  • Others

The Others segment registered a lower pre-tax profit of USD 19.9 million in FY 2018, compared to the USD 243.3 million recorded in FY 2017. This was chiefly due to lower investment income from Wilmar’s investment portfolio, as a result of high stock market volatility in FY 2018. Nevertheless, share of results of the company’s Joint Ventures & Associates grew by 36% year-on-year to USD 310.3 million in FY 2018, owing to higher contributions from Wilmar’s investments in China, Europe and Vietnam.

Source: Wilmar Annual Report 2018