2021 to be another challenging year for FGV, says outgoing group CEO

The Felda Global Ventures logo is pictured at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur October 9, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The Felda Global Ventures logo is pictured at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur October 9, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — FGV Holdings Bhd expects 2021 to be another challenging year, especially with its labour shortages and the volatility of crude palm oil (CPO) prices that affect the company’s plantation business, which contributes 82 per cent to the group’s revenue.

Outgoing group chief executive officer Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan said the group, however, expected the sugar business to continue improving its operating and financial performance.

“In 2021, our focus will be on new value creation for our downstream business. This is integral to our vision to reposition FGV as a leading agribusiness player.

“So far, we are on track with the implementation of our strategies and action plans to realise this aspiration,” he said in FGV’s 2020 annual integrated report released today.

On prospects, he said there was a cause for optimism with the forecast of CPO prices hovering above RM3,000 per tonne next year.

He said equally encouraging was the weather conditions that had resulted in improved harvests after a four per cent contraction of fresh fruit bunches in 2020.

“These gains, however, can be affected by reduced demand from the hospitality, restaurant and catering industry (HoReCa) should the Covid-19 pandemic continue,” he said.

He said HoReCa customers made up a significant market for FGV’s palm oil and consumer products.

Haris Fadzilah expressed confidence that post-pandemic, FGV would be well-positioned to benefit from the development of its consumer products, integrated farming and renewable energy businesses as these segments were market-driven businesses and not subject to commodity price volatility.

On plantations, he said FGV would continue to address sustainability matters that were vital to meet its Certified Sustainable Palm Oil production targets.

“Based on our current momentum, we are committed to achieve 100 per cent traceability to plantations by our mills in 2021.

“We also look forward to the renewal of our Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification schedule and the lifting of restrictions on our exports by the United States Customs and Border Protection,” he added.

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020, FGV returned to the black after recording a net profit of RM146.16 million compared with a net loss of RM246.18 million in the preceding year.

Earlier this month, FGV announced that Haris Fadzilah would step down as group chief executive officer effective May 15 and the board would look for a suitable candidate to replace him. — Bernama

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