Wilmar Fourth-Quarter Profit Drops 23% on Taxes, Sugar Business

Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s largest palm oil trader, said fourth-quarter profit fell 23 percent on higher taxes and lower earnings from its sugar business.

Net income was $369.1 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, from $476.8 million a year earlier, the Singapore-based company said in a statement. That missed the $380.3 million average estimate of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Sales were little changed at $11.6 billion.

Olam International Ltd., also a trader of agricultural commodities, last week reported a 13 percent decline in profit in the same three months as sales volumes fell. Wilmar’s pretax profit from its sugar unit slumped 82 percent in the quarter to $19.3 million.

“We have emerged from 2013 a stronger, better company, characterized by stable and diversified earnings,” Wilmar Chief Executive Officer Kuok Khoon Hong said in the statement.

The stock advanced 1.5 percent to S$3.36 at the close in Singapore. The announcement came after market.

Wilmar’s full-year profit rose 5.1 percent to $1.3 billion, meeting the $1.3 billion average estimate of 22 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

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