First Resources recorded a 47.8% increase in 1H20 earnings to US$43.2 million ($59.3 million) from the US$29.3 million a year ago.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 31.2% y-o-y to US$106.9 million.

Despite a 5.1% y-o-y decrease in sales of US$278.2 million for 1H20, the increase in earnings and EBITDA was mainly attributable to the higher selling prices for its crude palm oil (CPO) and refined products.

Cost of sales fell 21.2% y-o-y to US$164.1 million mainly due to the lower sales volumes of palm based products.

Gross profit improved by 34.8% y-o-y to US$114.1 million with gross profit margin coming in at 41.0% from 28.9% in 1H19 mainly due to the higher average selling prices.

For 1H20, First Resources recorded gains on foreign exchange of US$0.7 million compared to US$0.2 million in 1H2019. The gains on foreign exchange arose mainly from the impact of foreign currency movements on monetary assets and liabilities of the subsidiaries.

The group’s net financial expenses for the half-year rose 11.5% y-o-y to US$8.6 million.

As at end June, cash and cash equivalents stood at US$129.1 million.

An interim dividend of 1 Singapore cent has been declared for 1H20, higher than the 0.625 Singapore cents declared the year before.

The dividend will be paid out to shareholders on September 10.

Shares in First Resources closed flat at US$1.42 on August 13.