* 9-mth profit 1.7 trillion rupiah vs 3.1 trillion a year ago
* Net profit margin falls to 3.5 pct from 6.6 pct
* Indofood has $1.2 bln in foreign currency debt
* Plantation business hit by weak crude palm oil prices
By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana
JAKARTA, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the world’s biggest instant noodle makers, posted on Friday the steepest decline in nine-month profits in a decade as a weak rupiah jacked up financing costs for its foreign currency-denominated debt.
The company reported net profit of 1.68 trillion rupiah ($122.9 million), down 45 percent from 3.07 trillion rupiah a year earlier. The decline was the biggest since January-September 2005, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The net profit margin of Indofood, which has businesses in food, beverage and plantations, dropped to 3.5 percent from 6.6 percent.
“The macro economic condition in the last few months has posed quite a challenge for us,” Indofood CEO Anthoni Salim said in a statement. The weak crude palm oil prices had also hit the company’s net profit, he added.
The rupiah has fallen 9.2 percent so far this year, making it the second-worst performing Asian emerging market currency after Malaysia’s ringgit.
Indofood had previously said it has around $1.2 billion of debt denominated in foreign currencies and it will hedge 20 percent of its net exposure.
Indofood’s Singapore-listed plantation unit, Indofood Agri Resources, posted on Thursday a 49 percent fall in third-quarter core profit excluding forex impact.
$1 = 13,665.00 rupiah Reporting by Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Tripti Kalro in Bengaluru; Editing by Miral Fahmy