22 June 2012
BLD Plantation Bhd currently has 25,100ha of oil palm estates, sold 543,300 tonnes of palm oil products last year
BLD Plantation Bhd, which has 25,100ha of oil palm estates representing 52% of the group's total land area, plans to develop the remaining landbank in five to seven years.
Executive chairman Datuk Henry Lau Lee Kong said the group could fully cultivate the undeveloped land within that timeframe if the conditions were right.
“Planting an average 3,000ha a year is reasonable. It costs about RM15,000 to develop one ha,” he told StarBiz after the company AGM here yesterday.
Lau said the group's total plantation area would increase to about 27,000ha by December (this year), of which about 90% would be in maturity stage. Most of the estates are in Miri and Sibu Divisions.
The group is also involved in joint-venture oil palm plantation development on native customary rights (NCR) land.
BLD, through wholly-owned subsidiary Kirana Palm Oil Refinery Sdn Bhd, is investing RM51mil to expand its palm oil refinery in Bintulu with the installation of a second plant.
The new plant, which would double existing capacity to 2,400 tonnes per day, is expected to commence operation in the fourth quarter this year.
The products from the refinery are exported mostly to China and India.
Lau said the existing plant was running at about its installed capacity. The group's kernel crushing plant, which has a capacity of 450 tonnes per day, is operating at about 76% of its installed capacity.
BLD refinery and kernel crushing plant have obtained ISO certifications in quality, environmental and food safety management systems.
He said the group's second palm oil mill at Kabang Land District in Sibu Division had started operations, with current processing capacity of 60 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) per hour.
The new mill also purchases FFBs from other plantations and smallholders.
Asked if there is any plan by BLD to acquire oil palm estates or increase its landbank through acquisition, Lau replied: “All the time we are on the look-out for opportunities and any business that is viable.”
As at Dec 31, 2011, BLD group had cash and bank balances of RM243.8mil, up from RM163.2mil in 2010.
Group pre-tax profit soared to RM125.8mil last year from RM77.1mil in 2010 while group revenue surged to RM1.89bil from RM1.32bil.
The increase in earnings was contributed mainly by a 21% increase in sales volume and 19% increase in average selling price of palm oil products.
The group sold 543,300 tonnes of palm oil products from its refinery and kernel plant last year.
At the AGM, shareholders approved a final single-tier dividend of 14sen per share to be paid on July 31.