Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok’s PPB group doubles profits in commodities boom
PPB Group, controlled by Malaysia’s richest tycoon Robert Kuok, said its profits doubled in the first quarter, with the Kuala Lumpur-listed conglomerate enjoying strong demand for palm oil and sugar in the region.
Net profit jumped to Ringgit 402.2 million ($ 97.2 million) in the first quarter, from Ringgit 187.3 million a year ago, the company said in a filing at Bursa Malaysia on Friday evening. Results reflect strong contribution from Singapore-listed agribusiness associate PPB Wilmar International, which posted record quarterly results last month following the strong performance of its plantation and sugar mill businesses.
Wilmar’s strong contribution helped offset losses from PPB’s film business as well as weak profits from real estate and construction businesses that were affected by government-imposed lockdowns across Malaysia to stem the Covid pandemic -19.
Wilmar reported its highest-ever first-quarter profit of $ 450 million last month. “Wilmar’s performance will continue to contribute substantially to the overall profitability of the group,” said PPB.
Wilmar will continue to benefit from a recovery in demand for palm oil in China and other major importers like India, according to DBS Group Research. “Given that inventory levels in major buyer countries are still relatively low amid a recovery in consumption and tight supplies, we believe global demand will rebound further despite now firm crude palm oil prices. He said in a recent research note.
Kuok’s nephew, Kuok Khoon Hong, co-founded Wilmar in 1991 and made him one of the largest palm oil producers in the world. Khoon Hong, 71, who also has real estate interests, was ranked 11th richest person in Singapore with a net worth of $ 3.6 billion in the World Billionaires List released in April. His uncle owns a valuable stake in Wilmar.
Business legend Robert Kuok, 97, remains Malaysia’s richest person, a position he has held for two decades. With a net worth of $ 12.3 billion, he has interests in hotels, real estate, and shipping. His youngest son Kuok Khoon Hua is CEO and Vice President of Hong Kong Developer Properties of Kerry.