Equatorial Palm Oil Widens Annual Loss Due To Liberian Joint Venture

LONDON (Alliance News) – Equatorial Palm Oil PLC on Monday reported a widened annual loss on higher losses from its Liberian Palm Developments Ltd joint venture.

For the twelve months to September 30, the palm oil producer’s pretax loss widened to USD4.3 million from USD3.0 million the year before.

Equatorial’s revenue increased 5.4% to USD176,000 from USD167,000.

The company said the majority of its losses came from its share of the losses from the Liberian Palm Developments, or LPD, – which is still in its development stage. Equatorial owns 50% and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Behard owns the remaining 50%.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Behard owns about 63% of Equatorial.

Equatorial expects first sales from LPD’s oil palm products during the 2019 financial year.

Chairman Michael Frayne said 2018 was a “milestone” year for the company, in particular the commissioning of a 30 metric tonnes per hour palm oil mill at its Palm Bay estate.

Equatorial said the mill is producing crude palm oil and palm kernels, which are being stored on site awaiting shipment to customers.

Equatorial’s cash held at September 30 was USD138,000, down from USD182,000 the year prior.

The company did not propose a dividend, same as last year.

Frayne added: “It was heartening to witness the relatively smooth transfer of power for the election of a new government and for George Weah as the President of Liberia. It is very important that these elections were conducted in the right manner both for the people of Liberia and for foreign investors and those looking to invest in Liberia.”

Shares in Equatorial Palm Oil closed down 9.4% Monday at 1.45 pence each.

By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

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