Wilmar International, Asia’s leading agribusiness group reported net profit of US$536.6 million ($732.5 million) for the 3QFY2020 ended September, up 20% from the net profit of US$447.1 million the year before.

Core net profit for the quarter stood at US$501.4 million up 19.6% y-o-y, making this the highest third quarter core results since the group’s listing.

3QFY2020 revenue climbed 19.3% y-o-y to US$13.32 billion, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 19.8% y-o-y to US$1.09 billion.

In a statement via SGX, the group says its strong results were attributable to better-performing core segments from the previous year in terms of both revenue and profit.

The strong results also came on the back of strong demand for the group’s food products and higher crushing activities amid the easing African swine fever situation in China.

The results were further boosted by better performance in the plantation and sugar milling segment due to higher prices achieved during the quarter.

Refining margins for Wilmar’s tropical oil and sugar refining operations also remained robust throughout the period.

In addition, the group recorded stronger contributions from its associates and joint ventures, particularly from India and Africa.

For the 9MFY2020 ended September, Wilmar reported a “strong” core net profit of US$1.14 billion, up 34.4% y-o-y due to three consecutive quarters of stellar performances.

Overall volume for food products grew by 15.9% y-o-y to 7.4 million metric tons driven by strong growth in volume for sugar and flour products, as well as contributions from sales of products of Wilmar’s subsidiary, Goodman Fielder.

The increase in volume was also attributable to growth in sales for medium pack and bulk food products in 3QFY2020 amid easing lockdown measures.

Feed and industrial products saw growth in sales of 16.1% y-o-y to 16.5 million metric tons in 3QFY2020 due to strong sugar merchandising and high soybean crushing activities for the quarter.

Wilmar’s tropical oils business also contributed favourably to the segment due to good refining margins despite lower sales for the quarter.

Figures in the plantation and sugar milling segment improved over last year due to higher commodities prices during the quarter.

Equity attributable to owners of the company improved by 2.6% to US$17.20 billion on the back of higher profits during the period.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the group says it expects good results for the rest of 2020, as it foresees volume of food products to pick up in Asian countries who have eased lockdown measures.

The group says it also expects palm prices to remain firm into early 2021.

On Oct 15, Wilmar’s now 89.99%-owned subsidiary Yihai Kerry Arawana (YKA) commenced IPO trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The group received net proceeds of some US$2.05 billion from the new YKA shares issued in connection with the IPO.

See also: Wilmar shares drop over 7% following China IPO

The IPO, says the group, was well-received with tranches from offline investors and online retail investors being oversubscribed by 600.52 and 1,749.61 times respectively.

Shares in YKA traded as high as RMB62.65 ($12.74) on its first day of trading and closed 118% above its IPO price of RMB25.70 per share, resulting in a market capitalisation of RMB303.61 billion.

YKA has also been added to the MSCI China All Share Index as at Oct 29.

A special dividend of approximately 15% of the total IPO proceeds will be declared in 2021 to commemorate the successful listing of YKA.

Details will be disclosed in February 2021 with the release of Wilmar’s full year results ending Dec 31, 2020.

Shares in Wilmar closed 1 cent lower or 0.2% down at $4.04 on Oct 30 prior to this announcement.