Asian Citrus Holdings Ltd Interim Results

Asian Citrus Holdings Ltd Interim Results

Asian Citrus Holdings Limited, the largest orange plantation owner and operator in China, announces interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2011.

Business Highlights

  • Revenue up 67.2% to RMB1,043.4m (2010/11:RMB624.0m)
  • EBITDA, excluding net gain on change in fair value of biological assets and share-based payments up 52.3% to RMB395.6m (2010/11:RMB259.8m)
  • Total production 171,607 tonnes up 19.4% from 143,698 tonnes in 2010/2011
  • Continued to expand our direct sales to 22 supermarket chains  (in 2010, sales were to 20 supermarket chains)with total supply of approximately 48,447  tonnes of oranges (2010/11: 38,572  tonnes), up approximately 25.6%
  • Continued the construction of the new production facility of Beihai Perfuming Juice Company Limited ("Beihai BPG") in Baise city of the Guangxi Region with an annual capacity of approximately 40,000 tonnes. The progress is broadly in line with our expectation but the trial production is revised to commence shortly after mid 2012 due to administrative issues
  • Sold approximately 191,000 self-bred saplings to local farmers which offers the Group the first right to purchase their oranges
  • Continued the construction of the Hunan Plantation with 280,000 summer orange trees planted during the current period with another 343,000 summer orange trees to be planted before March 2012
  • Recommended an interim dividend of RMB0.03 (2010/11: RMB0.02 per share)and a special dividend of RMB0.02 per share (2010/11: Nil) and this equates to approximately 19.9% (2010/11: 11.9%) of the core net profit excluding net gain on change in fair value of biological assets and share-based payment
  • Approved a programme to buy back up to HK$250 million of Asian Citrus shares by way of "on-market repurchases" from now till the next annual general meeting

Hepu Plantation

  • Fully developed with approximately 1.3m orange trees, of which 1.0m are fruit-bearing trees
  • Production decreased by approximately 11.1% to 44,906 tonnes (2010/11: 50,517 tonnes) due to the reduction in the number of productive winter orange trees under the replanting programme
  • Replanting programme underway with 66,449 winter trees, to be replaced and replanted with the same number of new species of summer orange trees before March 2012
  • The second batch of 76,135 summer orange trees replanted in 2008 will commence production in the coming summer of 2012

Xinfeng Plantation

  • Fully planted with 1.6m winter orange trees, of which all are producing
  • Production increased by approximately 36.0% to 126,701 tonnes (2010/11: 93,181 tonnes)

Hunan Plantation

  • 707,000 summer orange trees have been planted as at 31 December 2011
  • Another 343,000 summer orange trees are expected to be planted before March 2012
  • RMB375.6m invested which mainly represents expenditure for land clearing, land cultivation, planting costs and other farmland infrastructure

Beihai BPG

  • Sold a total of approximately 14,604 tonnes of juice concentrates, 15,076 tonnes of fruit purees and 8,738 tonnes of frozen and dried fruits and vegetables for the period
  • As of the reporting date, RMB54.3m invested in the new juicing facility in Baise city which mainly represents expenditure for production machinery, land improvements and prepayments for land use rights and other construction works
  • The utilisation rate of production facilities in Beihai city and Hepu county was approximately 92.2% and 93.4% respectively

Tony Tong, Chairman, commented: The Group is progressing well as a comprehensive fruit and juice production company with an increasing presence in the Chinese retail market with higher production volume and market penetration. With the continuous growth of the Chinese economy and the government's promotion of domestic consumption, we are confident that the demand for consumables such as fruits and juice concentrates in China will continue to grow, providing the Group with an exciting opportunity to further expand its business in both the agricultural and fruits processing businesses through both organic growth and potential acquisitions.

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