Kuala Lumpur Kepong 4Q Net Profit Down 35%

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Palm-oil company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd. (2445.KU) reported a 35% drop in its fiscal fourth-quarter net profit, due in part to higher operating expenses and lower operating income.

Net profit for the July-September period declined to 242.1 million ringgit ($58.59 million) from MYR375.1 million a year earlier, the firm said in a local stock-exchange filing Wednesday. A poll by Eikon had estimated net profit of MYR255 million.

Revenue climbed 12% to MYR5.16 billion during the quarter from MYR4.54 billion a year ago, helped by higher selling prices of crude palm-oil.

The firm said palm-oil production is projected to recover strongly next year, which along with ample supply of oilseeds could put pressure on crude-palm-oil prices.

Still, the company said it expects profit from plantations for the year ending September 2018 to be satisfactory.

It said the performance of its oleochemical division should improve from last year, even though the industry faces excess capacity.

"Overall, the group's profits for the financial year 2018 should be better," the company said in notes accompanying the financial statement.

Shares of Kuala Lumpur Kepong ended Wednesday 0.2% higher at MYR24.50 ahead of the earnings release.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2017 05:45 ET (10:45 GMT)