August 13, 2018 / 10:12 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Wilmar Q2 profit surges on oilseeds and grains business

* Q2 net profit $316.4 mln vs $59 mln year earlier

* Trade tensions improve short-term crush margins (Adds details on segment performance, CEO quote)

SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Singapore-listed commodity trader Wilmar International Ltd posted a five-fold rise in second-quarter net profit, helped by its oilseeds and grains segment that benefited from higher volumes and crush margins.

The company, whose top shareholders include U.S. agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co, reported a net profit of $316.4 million for the three months ended June, compared with $59 million a year earlier.

Wilmar posted a core net profit, which excludes non-operating items, of $351.8 million, compared with $36.1 million a year earlier.

The company’s oilseeds and grains business posted a pretax profit of $290.2 million versus $60.3 in the year-earlier period. Losses in the sugar segment narrowed in the quarter, while its tropical oils reported a 165 percent increase in pretax profit.

“The trade tensions between the U.S. and China improved crush margins in the short term, thus benefitting our oilseeds crushing business,” Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“However, a prolonged dispute between the two countries will have a negative impact on crush margins due to lower plant utilisation,” he added. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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