Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Indofood books Rp 1.39t profit

JAKARTA (JP): Food producer PT Indofood Sukses Makmur announced on Thursday a net profit of Rp 1.39 trillion (US$187 million) for 1999, an increase from Rp 458 billion in 1998.

The company said in a statement the rise in net profit was partly due to the strengthening of the rupiah against the U.S. dollar.

Indofood recorded foreign exchange gains of Rp 209 billion in 1999, compared to foreign exchange losses of Rp 1.2 trillion in 1998.

The company also said it revised upward its 1998 profit to Rp 458 billion from Rp 150 billion, after using the Statements of Financial Accounting Standards to calculate its income taxes and certain marketable securities.

Sales in 1999 increased by 31 percent to more than Rp 11.5 trillion, with three principal divisions -- instant noodles, flour, and edible oil and fat -- contributing 85 percent of the company's consolidated sales.

Sales of instant noodles, which accounted for 37 percent of sales, rose 45 percent to Rp 4.3 trillion.

Company president Eva Riyanti Hutapea said Indofood had decided to discontinue the sale of its equity stake in the Bogasari flour mill operation.

However, she said the company would continue with plans to spin off the flour mill division into four separate legal entities as agreed to in an extraordinary shareholders meeting on Oct. 6, 1999.

Hutapea said Indofood was optimistic of sustaining profitable operations this year and meeting its loan repayments without having to sell off any assets.

The company's foreign currency debt has been reduced to $705 million, from $910 at the end of 1998. This figure represents 83 percent of outstanding bank lending, Hutapea said, adding that $400 million of the debt would be due in July.

"After completing the spin-off of the Bogasari operation, Indofood will look into alternatives to realize the inherent value of Bogasari, including an initial public offering," she said. (jsk)