Sime Darby: Developing Sustainable Futures
Sime Darby Reports Record Pre-Tax Profit Of RM5.2 Billion

Press Release

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 August 2008 – Sime Darby Berhad registered a 46 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the financial year ended 30 June, 2008, pushing the group's pre-tax profit to a record high of RM5.2 billion.

The Group's robust showing was mainly due to the strong performance in the Plantation Division, which registered an increase in operating profit of 139 per cent to RM3.9 billion during the year. The sterling performance in this division was the result of better yields, merger synergies and strong CPO prices.

The success of the Motors Division turnaround effort has more than doubled its operating profit to RM203 million, compared to RM63 million last year.

However, the Property Division’s operating profit declined by 19 per cent to RM407 million. This was due to the overall economic uncertainty and a more challenging business environment.

During the financial year, Sime Darby realised RM210 million in merger synergies in the plantation and property businesses, keeping it well ahead of schedule. The group has now achieved almost half of the RM400-500 million in EBIT synergies targeted by FY2009/10.

Sime Darby President & Group Chief Executive Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid said the overall performance of the Group "is a testament to the hard work and commitment put in by everyone since the merger. Our biggest asset as we strive to raise the bar is our human resource."

He said that going forward the global macroeconomic situation is set to become more challenging. However, he said the Group is entering this environment from a position of strength. “The Group's balance sheet is currently the strongest it has ever been while its earnings base is well diversified. Hence, the Group is well-placed to acquire undervalued assets to support our long term strategic plans,” he added.

Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zubir said that Sime Darby expected to face tougher time ahead. “But I strongly believe that with our talent and our unwavering ambition to achieve excellence, we will be able to seize opportunities which present themselves,” he said.

Group revenue grew by 21 per cent to RM34.0 billion while net profit after tax and minority interests rose by 47 per cent to RM3.5 billion for the financial year under review.

Following this strong performance, the Group proposes to reward shareholders by paying an additional 15 per cent payout on earnings as special dividend, above its normal 50 per cent payout ratio. The Group recommends a final gross dividend of 34 sen per share less Malaysian income tax at 25 per cent and special final dividend of 4 sen per share less Malaysian income tax at 25 per cent and 6 sen per share Malaysian Tax Exempt for the financial year ended 30 June 2008. Including the interim dividend paid of 5 sen per share less Malaysian income tax at 26 per cent total gross dividend for the year will be 49 sen per share.

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