Record palm oil prices and the disposal of two Malaysian plantation properties helped MP Evans to report record after tax profits of $53.6m ($46.6m) for last year.

The complex results announcement reflects the continuing transition from a Malaysian plantations company to an Indonesian palm oil producer with beef cattle interests in Australia.

Pre-tax profits rose from $17.3m to $23.4m on revenues up from $21.3m to $30.4m. Those figures include a 33 per cent rise in gross profits on the Indonesian palm oil operations to $14.9m, and a loss of almost $1m on its Woodlands cattle ranch in southern Queensland, which is now up for sale.

The after tax profits include a $12.1m ($30.6m) contribution from its 34 per cent holding in Napco, a large private Australian beef producer, and a $24.5m ($5.8m) contribution from the property disposals.

Earnings per share from continuing operations fell from 71.21 to 48.88 US cents. The board is proposing an unchanged final dividend of 5p, maintaining the total for the year at 7p. The shares rose 10½p to 280p in Monday afternoon trading.

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