Agri-business group Mewah International announced that its 1H20 earnings came in at US$27.8 million ($38.2 million), a significant surge from just US$2.8 million in 1H19.

This came on the back of a 4.7% increase in revenue to US$1.5 billion from US$1.4 billion a year ago.

The revenue increase was supported by 11.8% higher average selling prices, partially offset by 6.3% lower sales volume.

The bulk segment recorded an increase of 8.5% in revenue but Consumer Pack segment recorded a drop of 4.7% in revenue. Bulk and Consumer Pack segments contributed 73.5% and 26.5% of total revenue respectively.

As cost of sales remained flat at US$1.4 billion, gross profit for 1H20 came in at US$133.1 million, double that of US$67.1 million last year.

Other income fell by 48.3% y-o-y to US$1.8 million.

During the current period, the group recorded other losses of US$27.6 million from other gains of US$35,000 a year ago.

1H20 also saw a prevision of expected credit losses of US$6.0 million from a reversal of US$100,000.

Despite the increase in losses and provision this period, the group managed to boost earnings by cutting its expenses.

Overall expenses declines, with selling and distribution expenses dropping 8.4% y-o-y to US$18.8 million and finance expenses declining by 33.3% to US$5.4 million. Administrative expenses however remained flat y-o-y at US$40.4 million.

As at end-June, cash and cash equivalents stood at US$98.6 million.

Due to its growth in earnings, Mewah’s board has declared an interim dividend of 0.15 cent per share. It did not declare interim dividends in the same period last year.

Despite concerns on uncertainties surrounding new waves of Covid-19 infections, lockdowns and emerging trade friction between US and China, the group is remaining positive.

“The group remains confident of its future as it is competitively placed in the attractive part of the agri-food supply chain with its robust integrated business model, efficient large-scale manufacturing facilities, well established brands and global distribution network. The group’s financial position remains strong to sustain and support current business and future growth plans,” said Mewah in its results release.

Shares in Mewah closed at 20 cents on August 14.