KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): Prospects for the durian industry in Malaysia look favourable, underpinned by continuous demand from overseas customers — especially in China — for frozen durian and related products, according to PLS Plantations Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.
In a statement in the durian planter’s 2021 annual report, Nazir said PLS Plantations' board is confident that the group’s diversification into the durian business will transform the group into a major player in both the durian upstream and downstream businesses.
“Our group is constantly on the lookout to forge strategic alliances with both local and multinational companies to collaborate and expand our group’s upstream durian plantation capacity.
“With the vision of pursuing large-scale commercial durian plantations, we hope to be able to meet growing worldwide demand for the durian fruit and durian-related products, which has consistently outstripped supply,” he added.
Additionally, Nazir also said that the post-pandemic outlook for the palm oil industry in Malaysia remains bright with crude palm oil prices expected to stay at current levels until the early second quarter of 2022.
He added that this is backed by balanced supply and demand as well as an expected recovery in 2022 from labour shortages.
Nazir noted that while the year 2020 was dominated by the outbreak of the coronavirus throughout the world and its debilitating impact on the world economy, the group ushered into 2021 with a fair amount of optimism.
“But it was short-lived as the spread of the virus and its variants continued forcing extended lockdowns in many countries.
“Malaysia was not spared but thankfully, we have been very successful with our vaccine roll-out, enabling the economy to get going again,” he said.
For the cumulative 15-month financial period ended June 30, 2021, PLS Plantations posted a net profit of RM12.86 million and revenue of RM134.35 million. There were no comparative figures due to the group’s change of its financial year end from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
Nazir said the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the group’s performance for the financial period ended June 30, 2021 due to a challenging business landscape as a result of the labour shortages, coupled with supply chain and logistic disruptions.
“The group’s performance could have been better, but as the year 2021 comes to an end and with the high Covid-19 vaccination rate achieved, light is at the end of the tunnel.
“Hence, the board is cautiously optimistic about the group’s performance for the forthcoming financial year 2022,” Nazir added.