Company Announcements

Trading Statement

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 3826O
M. P. Evans Group PLC
10 June 2022
 

 M.P. EVANS GROUP PLC

("Group" or "M.P. Evans")

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The annual general meeting of M.P. Evans Group PLC, a producer of sustainable Indonesian palm oil, is being held at 12:00 pm in London today. Further details on the AGM, including a link to the live AGM webcast, can be found on the Group's website at www.mpevans.co.uk/investors/agm. The following statement is an update on trading conditions and progress on the Group's activities since the publication of the annual report in March.

Crops

The crop of fresh fruit bunches ("ffb") for the five months ended 31 May 2022 was 342,200 tonnes from estates controlled by the Group, almost exactly the same as the 342,100 tonnes recorded for the same period in 2021. Crops from the Group's associated scheme smallholders were 100,900 tonnes, again almost exactly the same as the 100,800 achieved in the same period in 2021.

As reported in the 2021 AGM trading statement, crops from Group-controlled areas and scheme-smallholder areas had increased from the same period in the previous year by 24% and 43% respectively as harvests had improved significantly, particularly at Bangka and Kota Bangun. Due to a combination of the surge seen in early 2021, and normal changes in seasonal crop patterns, crops for the first five months of 2022 were in line with the same period last year. Overall, the Group's crops continue on an upward trend resulting from the young average age of the Group's plantations with yields increasing as they mature, and the Group anticipates reporting an overall crop increase in 2022.

Production

The Group produced the equivalent of 130,300 tonnes of crude palm oil ("CPO") during the first five months of 2022, including 114,600 tonnes processed through its own mills with the balance being the oil content of ffb sold by the Group to third-party mills. These figures are similar to the 132,400 tonnes of CPO produced in the first five months of 2021, but the production from the Group's own mills has increased by 9% from 2021 as the Group's new mill at Bumi Mas was operational throughout the period. The Group continues to achieve a good oil-extraction rate of 23.1%, albeit slightly lower than the 23.4% achieved in 2021 as the Group's Bumi Mas mill continues to develop, and processing at Kota Bangun was temporarily disrupted by wet weather conditions. The crop purchased from independent suppliers for processing in Group mills was a little lower than the same period in the previous year at 128,900 tonnes (2021 - 137,800 tonnes) as the Group temporarily reduced its external purchasing during the Indonesian export ban.

Sales and prices

The average price of CPO (cif Rotterdam) for the first five months of the year was US$1,630 per tonne, 45% higher than the US$1,127 per tonne during the equivalent period in 2021. Sales of CPO across Indonesia were temporarily disrupted due to the export ban introduced by the Indonesian government at the end of April 2022. However, the Group was able to continue harvesting and producing at all operational locations, and as previously reported, the ban was lifted by the government with effect from 23 May 2022. In the period to the end of May 2022, the Group realised an average price at mill gate of US$1,079 per tonne compared with US$715 per tonne in 2021, an increase of 51%. Prices for palm kernels also strengthened significantly, averaging US$899 per tonne (mill gate), 85% higher than the US$487 per tonne in 2021.

Sustainability

The Group is a long-standing member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ("RSPO"). In 2021, 55% of its total output was certified as sustainable by the RSPO (2020 - 53%). The Group is only able to certify output processed in its own mills as sustainable: the Group's objective is for all its mills to be certified by the RSPO with any new mills achieving certification within 18 months of commencing operation. The Group's two newest palm-oil mills, the Rahayu mill at Kota Bangun and the Bumi Mas mill, are working through the certification process, and the Group expects these to be completed by the end of 2022. All estates, whether they have a mill or not, including all smallholder schemes attached to the Group's projects, are run in accordance with the RSPO's standards, which relate to environmental, social and ethical plantation practices.

Strategy

The Group has four key strategic pillars: it is a responsible producer of sustainable Indonesian palm oil, striving for excellence in all its operations, with a focus on continuing growth and offering an increasing yield.

Acting responsibly is at the heart of everything the Group does. The Group does not deforest and acts as a good steward of the land it cultivates. It invests for the long term, in its employees, their training and in the facilities it provides for them. This approach fosters a culture of excellence, enabling the consistent delivery of both high crop yield and good extraction rates. In turn, the long-term investment, the age profile of the Group's planted areas, and the yields achieved support continuing growth, and the opportunity to increase shareholder returns.

An increased total dividend of 35p per share has been proposed in respect of 2021, and it remains the board's intention to continue the Group's long-term trend of at least maintaining, or increasing, dividends for shareholders.

 

10 June 2022

 

Enquiries:

M.P. Evans Group PLC

Telephone: 01892 516333

Peter Hadsley-Chaplin - chairman


Matthew Coulson - chief executive


Peel Hunt LLP (Nomad and joint broker)

Telephone: 020 7418 8900

Dan Webster


Andrew Clark


Lalit Bose


finnCap (Joint broker)

Telephone: 020 7220 0500

Tim Redfern


Harriet Ward


Hudson Sandler (Financial PR)

Telephone: 020 7796 4133

Charlie Jack


Elfie Kent


 

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