Sunday 19 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): Hextar Global Bhd’s net profit jumped fivefold to RM23.39 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2023 (4QFY2023) from RM4.64 million a year ago, underpinned by the stellar performance of the newly diversified fruits segment and improved results from the agriculture and specialty chemicals segments.

Earnings per share increased to 60 sen from 12 sen, according to the agrochemical group's bourse filing.

Quarterly revenue rose by 59.8% to RM214.28 million, from RM134.06 million a year ago, with the fruits segment contributing RM52.1 million since its diversification into durian trading in November 2023.

The specialty chemicals segment's revenue grew by RM20.9 million, primarily from the oil and gas, and chemicals cleaning sectors, while the agriculture segment’s revenue increased by RM7.1 million, driven by favourable selling prices for herbicide products.

The group declared a first interim dividend of one sen per share, payable on April 5, 2024.

For the full year, Hextar's net profit increased by 13.2% to RM56.1 million from RM49.54 million in FY2022, with revenue growing by 12.5% to RM669.44 million from RM594.9 million.

Looking ahead, the group believes that the agriculture sector in Malaysia presents positive prospects, driven by the necessity for pest management and weed control amid challenges such as population expansion and limited arable land. The group is focusing on sales and marketing efforts to expand its markets.

The group also anticipates stability in the post-pandemic specialty chemicals sector, including cleaning and sanitation, with active market expansion and positive outcomes from overseas campaigns in 2023.

Moreover, there is a positive outlook for specialty chemicals and catalysts in the oil and gas industry due to strategic acquisitions and diversification efforts into other Asian markets, emphasising new chemical innovations for higher-value products.

In the durian industry, the group sees positive prospects stemming from increasing demand, particularly for the "Musang King" variety. This is supported by expanded durian cultivation, government promotion, and strict food safety standards, it said.

In a separate statement, Hextar group managing director Lee Chooi Keng acknowledged early challenges in the agrochemical business due to global commodity price volatility, but expressed confidence in sustaining growth momentum in 2024 and beyond, attributing it to progress in executing strategies and the strength of the diversified business model.

At the time of writing, shares in Hextar were 5.5 sen or 5.67% lower at 91.5 sen, valuing the group at RM3.6 billion.

Edited ByAdam Aziz
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