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Olam Shares Decline 10.75 Per cent on Weak Earnings

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by Ernie B. Calucag

Shares of food and agri group Olam International fell 10.75 per cent to its lowest in nearly three years on Wednesday after the group posted weaker-than-expected earnings for the January to March period.

Olam shares shed S$0.215 to close at S$1.785 from Tuesday’s S$2.00.

“One of the biggest drags on the markets was commodity giant Olam which announced a 22.5-per cent drop in profits. This saw 10.8 per cent of its value wiped away today as traders ran for the exit,” said Justin Harper of IG Markets in Singapore.

Olam shares have fallen nearly 13 per cent so far this year against the 8-per cent rise in the broader market.

Olam reported earnings of $98.68 million for the fiscal third quarter ending March 31, a 22.5-per cent decrease compared to last year.

Revenue fell 10.8 per cent to S$4.23 billion from a year ago on lower commodity prices across most products although sales volume increased 19.7 per cent to 2.7 million metric tonnes.

“While many of our businesses continued to perform well, we are not entirely immune to the difficulties being experienced in many global markets. This is reflected in the results of some of our operating businesses which are more sensitive to these external events,” said Olam’s Group CEO Sunny Verghese.