JOHOR BAHRU, 27 June 2023: Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad (KULIM) marks another outstanding year of financial performance for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2022 (FY2022). The outstanding results were driven by high commodity prices and backed by enhanced operational efficiencies. The Group's profit before tax and zakat (PBTZ) surged 22.32%, amounting to RM530.66 million in FY2022, compared to RM433.81 million in FY2021.
KULIM achieved a substantial 12.83% increase in revenue, totalling RM1.86 billion compared to RM1.65 billion in FY2021. The plantation segment emerged as the major revenue contributor, generating RM1.75 billion. Notably, the company showcased a strengthened financial position, leading to an improved net gearing ratio of 0.56 times, a significant enhancement compared to 0.63 times in FY2021.
Despite the challenges faced in the plantation sector, particularly the acute labour shortage, KULIM achieved a 7.36% increase in Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) production, from 1,035,342 MT in 2021 to 1,111,496 MT. Palm Product Yield (PPY) improved from 5.26 MT/ha to 5.65 MT/ha, and Yield Per Hectare (YPH) also increased from 20.11 MT/ha to 22.06 MT/ha. These figures were higher than the industry averages in Johor and Peninsular Malaysia, which stood at 17.65 MT/ha and 16.41 MT/ha, respectively. Although the Oil Extraction Rate (OER) decreased to 20.27% from 20.83%, it remained higher than the industry average of 19.57% for Peninsular Malaysia and 19.70% in Malaysia.
The good results also enable KULIM to declare a total dividend of RM175 million, including a first interim dividend of 2,500 sen per share (equivalent to RM100 million) and a second interim dividend of 1,875 sen per share (equivalent to RM75 million) in FY2022.
In the Agrofood segment, KULIM has expanded its intensive vegetable farming operations from 10 acres to 20 acres, cultivating various crops such as cucumbers, long beans, chili, brinjal, okra, and bitter gourd. Livestock operations have also grown, with a 9.22% increase in the cattle population to 8,300 heads and a 47.40% increase in the sheep population to 500 heads.
"As we remain 'Focused, Resilient, and Future-ready,' KULIM remains confident in its success for 2023 despite anticipated challenges. With determination, we aim to leverage robust demand to continue our transformation program. Our key priorities involve expanding our core businesses, Plantation and Agrofood, while upholding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in our operations. We will leverage enhanced mechanisation and digitalisation to establish ourselves as a sustainable, profitable, and inclusive agribusiness player,” said Mohd Faris Adli Shukery, Director of KULIM.
In March, KULIM consolidated all of its plantation business under its subsidiary Johor Plantations Berhad (formerly known as Mahamurni Plantations Sdn Bhd) as part of its transformation agenda. Focused on palm oil production, Johor Plantations will strengthen its position as an upstream and midstream player while exploring opportunities to expand into the downstream oil palm sector, aiming to become an integrated player in the industry. This expansion will enable the production of specialty products with high demand and better profit margins.
Additionally, through its Agrofood segment, KULIM established Farmbyte Sdn Bhd to diversify its portfolio with a mission to build a sustainable Agrofood industry to boost national food security by leveraging technology.
Aerial view of Bukit Layang estate in Kota Tinggi, owned by Johor Plantations