* Savola’s Q1 rises better-than-expected 104 pct
* Half of Q1 net profit was from Herfy’s IPO
* Savola sees lower Q2 profit yr/yr
* Savola names new CEO
(Adds details, background)
RIYADH, April 18 (Reuters) - Saudi-based Savola Group 2050.SE on Sunday beat average analyst forecasts by doubling net profit during the first quarter, helped by non-recurring capital gains.
Savola also said one of its former chief executives and the current head of its edible oil firm Afia, Abdul-Raouf Manaa, would take over as new chief executive when Sami Baroum steps down by the end of June. [ID:nLDE63G035]
The firm, whose products include edible oil, sugar and plastics, said it made a net profit of 394 million riyals ($105.1 million) in the three months ending March, compared to 193 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.
That was above the average 78.7 percent year-on-year rise in first-quarter net profit which five analysts predicted Savola would achieve in a Reuters survey. [ID:nLDE63A0BS]
Operating profit rose 18.6 percent to 331 million riyals after its sales rose 31 percent to 4.7 billion riyals during the first-quarter of 2010, it said in a statement posted on the bourse website.
Excluding capital gains from the flotation earlier this year of fast-food chain Herfy 6002.SE Food Services Co, Savola's net profit stands at 198 million riyals, which is 10 percent above its own projections for the first quarter of 2010.
Herfy raised 413.1 million riyals from the IPO in January. [ID:nLDE6090D9]
Savola’s earnings stood at 0.79 riyals per share by end-March, up from 0.39 riyals a year earlier. Shareholders in the company will get 0.5 riyals dividend for the period, Savola said.
The company expects its net profit to stand at 205 million riyals during the second quarter, which is 3.5 percent below its level a year earlier.