Olam swings to profit as cocoa and coffee perk up

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Singapore-based Olam, one of the world’s biggest food traders, reported a full-year profit of S$351.3m ($250m) compared to a loss of S$114.9m the year before, with earnings boosted by a strong performance in its cocoa and coffee business as well as staples such as rice and sugar.

The commodity trader made profit after tax and minority interests of S$102.2m for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with a fourth quarter loss of S$269.4m the year before after writing down its investment in PureCircle, a Malaysian sugar substitute maker.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation grew 10.8 percent year-on-year to S$1.2bn for the full year, as growth in products derived from cocoa and coffee as well as staples including rice and dairy products offset declines in other segments.
Singapore state investor Temasek is majority shareholder of Olam, while Mitsubishi Corporation holds around 20 per cent of issued capital.

Olam’s Co-Founder and Group CEO Sunny Verghese said:

I am pleased to report a strong set of results for 2016, despite a challenging operating environment and uncertainties in the global commodities markets.

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