New Britain Palm Oil Limited
2008 THIRD QUARTER TRADING UPDATE
New Britain Palm Oil Limited (LSE: NBPO) (“NBPOL”, “Group” or the “Company”), a large scale
integrated industrial producer of palm oil in Australasia, announces its 3rd quarter trading update
for the period from 1 January 2008 to 30 September 2008.
As a result of the Bursa Malaysia quarterly reporting requirements of its parent company, Kulim
Malaysia Berhad, NBPOL is required to provide the following information in respect of the nine
months ended 30 September 2008:
9 months ended 9 months ended
30 September 2008 30 September 2007
Sales (USD (m)) 259.6 169.9
PBT (excluding IAS 41) (USD (m)) 86.3 57.4
FFB Produced – own plantations (Mt) 652,418 635,718
FFB Processed (Mt) 954,092 928,501
CPO Produced (Mt) 219,649 208,288
PKO Produced (Mt) 19,978 19,572
Average CPO price per Mt achieved (USD) $950 $655
Nick Thompson, Chief Executive, stated:
"The first nine months of 2008 have seen record production of a total 239,627 tonnes of crude
palm and kernel oil, which is some 5.2% ahead of the same period last year. At the end of the
third quarter, our stocks of both crude and refined oils in storage awaiting shipment were in
excess of 41,000 tonnes, although for accounting purposes these are valued at cost. We expect
that fruit and oil production will continue at these current levels for the remaining three months, in
line with our 2008 targets.
Oil extraction rates at the mills have increased and currently stand at 23.03% for the year to date,
a heartening result reflecting well on management in the key areas of plantations, transport and
processing. This extraction rate compares very favourably with the rate of 22.43% for the same
period last year.
Palm oil prices are well below the highs experienced earlier this year. Reflecting previous
forward sales, we have achieved an average sale price of US $950 per tonne for crude palm oil in
the first three quarters. In October 2008 we closed out some of our 2009 hedged sales at a gain
of $9.4 million and the Company has also forward sold the vast majority of its fourth quarter CPO
production at an average price of around $850 per tonne.
At the same time as the reduction in CPO prices, we have also seen a significant reduction in the
market price of mineral oil. However, the reduced price of mineral oil has yet to flow through to
NBPOL's operations in terms of lower costs for key inputs such as fuel, fertilizer and freight.
Management continues to focus on controlling all operating costs where possible.
Capital works have continued through the nine month period with good progress being made on
the increased storage at the Kimbe port terminal. Similarly milling capacity improvements are also
well underway. The centralised power plant, that is designed to utilize mill by-products as fuel
sources to generate steam using a biomass boiler, is now in use and will reduce our reliance on
diesel fuel for power generation.
During the third quarter the Company was pleased to receive certification from the Roundtable on
Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as a supplier of sustainable palm oil from our entire production
base (inclusive of smallholders) in West New Britain Province. While the full potential financial
benefits of certification are still being assessed, it is nonetheless a significant achievement for the
business and places the Company at the forefront of providing traceable, sustainable palm oil into
the EU market which has previously expressed strong interest in sourcing such oil.
The Company’s acquisition of Ramu Agri-Industries Limited (“Ramu”) reached a successful
conclusion during the third quarter with acceptances of 92.9% which now allow the compulsory
acquisition of the remaining shares. We are also seeking to delist Ramu from the Port Moresby
Stock Exchange. Integration of Ramu’s operations is now underway and practices and policies
are already being put in place to bring the operations of Ramu into line with those within NBPOL.
Areas of synergies have already been identified and agriculturally the prospects for further
development of oil palm look excellent.
On 9 October 2008, an interim dividend of 14 US cents gross per share for the financial year
ending December 2008 was announced and is expected to be paid, net of PNG withholding tax
on 31 October 2008. This is the third dividend to be paid this calendar year bringing the total
dividends paid to shareholders this calendar year to 39.69 US cents per share. This interim
payment also brings the timing of dividend payments in line with generally expected practice.
In spite of the recent weakening in CPO prices and continued costs pressures during the year,
the Company remains confident that its results for the year ending 31 December 2008 will be
broadly in line with its expectations.
Looking to 2009, the Company has either forward sold or hedged a material proportion of its 2009
production (15%) at an average price of $1,004 per tonne. However, the board of NBPOL notes
that if current spot CPO prices prevail, this would have a commensurate impact on revenues for
the year. The Company also expects its operational costs to decrease given the anticipated
reduction in prices of key inputs. The Company's cash position remains strong and it remains
well placed to finance further growth initiatives.
Despite an expected reduction in the Company's revenues in 2009, the board is pleased with the
continued growth and improvement of the Company's operations, in terms of plantation
expansion, fruit production, extraction rates and refined product potential. The board of NBPOL
believes that, notwithstanding the recent softening in CPO prices, the fundamentals of the
industry remain strong and that the prospects for NBPOL are encouraging, particularly as it
should benefit directly from the growing demand for the highest quality, traceable and sustainable
palm oil products.
Gavin Anderson (Financial PR Adviser) Tel: +44(0)20 7554 1400
Ken Cronin / Janine Brewis / Anthony Hughes Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Britain Palm Oil Limited Tel: +44(0)20 7554 1400
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Tel: +44 (0)20 3205 5000
Notes to editors
NBPOL is a large scale industrial producer of sustainable palm oil in Australasia, with over 40,000
hectares of planted palm oil plantations, five oil mills, a refinery and a seed production and plant
breeding facility. It is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s main market under the ticker
NBPO.L (commencement of dealing on 17 December 2007) and on the Port Moresby Stock
Exchange in PNG.
NBPOL is fully vertically integrated, producing its own seed (which it also sells globally) and
plants, cultivating and harvesting its own land and processing and refining palm oil. It also
contracts directly with its end customers in the EU and arranges shipping of its products.
The palm oil market is undergoing a period of rapid change with demand from the developing and
urbanising Asian economies and the new biofuel industry driving a marked increase in demand
for vegetable oil products, including palm oil. The global price of palm oil has risen in response in
part to this marked change in demand.
NBPOL has some of the world's highest yielding plantations of palm oil and is currently achieving
yields per hectare approximately 19 per cent. above the world average due, in the Directors'
opinion, to the favourable natural environment in PNG, high quality genetic material and skilled
NBPOL has a high level of control over its entire supply chain, from the control and development
of its genetic material, through planting, harvesting, processing and finally contracting with its end
NBPOL has high regard for the importance of its sustainability credentials and is active in proving
its performance through its certification to ISO 14001 and its close involvement and support of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”) – the RSPO has over 260 members, of which 12
are non-governmental organisations (including WWF and Oxfam). NBPOL’s Head of Research,
Dr Simon Lord, is Vice President of the RSPO.