from the board
Corporate Information » Statement From The Board
* Extracted from Integrated Report 2022
The financial year (FY) under review saw Boustead Plantations Berhad (BPlant or the Company and its subsidiaries collectively referred to as the Group) uphold our commitment to responsibly-produced palm oil in an industry that demands a deforestation-free environment supported by checks and balances. We are pleased to inform that we achieved a second year of record earnings despite higher operating expenses.
This Statement has been penned by the Board of Directors of BPlant, following the resignation of our former Chairman Dato’ Haji Ismail Haji Lasim in January 2023. The report emphasises advancements in global reporting standards and incorporates the guidelines of the Integrated Reporting Framework.
Our Operating Landscape
Despite the Russia-Ukraine conflict, weaker external demand, and slower trade, Malaysia’s economy grew by 8.7% in 2022 due to higher domestic demand as well as local labour market and employment rate improvements across most industries.
However, labour shortages continued to affect the nation’s plantation sector, which relies on foreign workers, particularly for fresh fruit bunches (FFB) production. The cost of production increased as a result of the revised minimum wage and higher fertiliser cost. Nevertheless, the oil palm industry benefitted from higher crude palm oil (CPO) prices in 2022 compared with 2021, with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s average price rising by 15% to RM5,088 per tonne.
The Group delivered another stellar performance primarily due to high CPO prices in the first half of 2022. Our commendable results also included the gains realised from the disposal of land. This enabled us to declare total dividends of 14.45 sen, outperforming last year’s total dividend payout of 8.35 sen.
"We registered a revenue of RM1.2 billion, an increase from RM1.1 billion in FY2021. This marked two consecutive years of delivering a revenue that surpassed the RM1.0 billion milestone, with profit before taxation and zakat of RM729 million, more than double that from the previous year and the highest earnings to-date since our relisting in 2014."
Board of Directors
Upholding Good ESG Practices
As a prominent player in the plantation industry, we are firmly committed to our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategy Framework. To transform into a greener entity, we are focusing on reducing our carbon footprint via our biogas plant at our Telok Sengat Palm Oil Mill. Alongside this, we are actively working to preserve biodiversity in our plantation estates.
In tandem with strengthening labour practices, we implemented various training and upskilling programmes to enhance the capabilities of our workforce, with average training hours per employee increasing during the financial year. In addition, we have enhanced our ethical recruitment processes to be aligned with best practices.
Prioritising corporate governance, integrity and corruption prevention, the Boustead Group introduced the Boustead Integrity and Governance Plan 2022–2025. Solidifying our stand, the Board of Directors of BPlant also signed an Integrity Pledge. On 8 February 2023, BPlant has successfully attained the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems Certification.
Reflecting our dedicated ESG efforts, BPlant was listed on the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index and FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Shariah Index. In an effort to continue demonstrating our dedication to enhancing ESG practices, the Board wishes to inform that the Integrated Report 2022 is prepared using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards as a guide.
Our pursuit to become a leading sustainable technology-based plantation entity is a key agenda as we move forward. This will be supported by our Plantation Performance Improvement Programme initiatives, as well as improving cost efficiencies. We will also pursue mill integration by identifying value creation initiatives that align with our ESG agenda along with optimising unutilised land, as well as continue to digitalise and develop more technology-based operational and management processes.
With these plans in place, the Group is well-placed to drive sustainable growth.
The Board would like to express our appreciation to our former Chairman, Dato’ Haji Ismail Haji Lasim, for his leadership. Our gratitude as well to our former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zainal Abidin Shariff, who resigned in November 2022. We wish both gentlemen the very best.
The Board would like to take this opportunity to also thank former Board members, Dato’ Dr. Haji Din Adam, Mohd Azahar Ibrahim, Datuk Haji Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah, Dato’ Indera Haji Mustaffar Kamal Haji Ab Hamid, Datuk Mustapa Kamal Mohd Yusoff, Datuk Haji Abdul Ghani Abdul Rashid, and Ahmad Shahredzuan Mohd Shariff.
It is with pleasure that we welcome back our previous CEO Fahmy Ismail, who was with us from 2014 to 2018. He has now taken on the role of Acting CEO. An integral part of the Group for many years, he brings sound knowledge of our operations and well-rounded industry expertise.
The commitment of our employees and senior management has also been pivotal to transforming the Group and growing sustainably.
Our thanks as well to our shareholders and external stakeholders, including and not limited to our financiers, business associates and partners, and the regulatory authorities for their continued support.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Boustead Plantation Berhad
28 April 2023