Half-year profits in Singaporean agribusiness firm Wilmar International plunged 37%, in part due to lower margins from its palm oil business.

However, Wilmar’s consumer products unit saw profits rise on the back of higher volumes and a boost to that division’s margins through lower feedstock costs. 

Profit before tax from its consumer goods unit was up 25.1% to US$37.4m for the first half ended 30 June.

Wilmar reported an 11.6% increase in sales volume to 2.7 million metric tonnes. However, revenue dipped 0.6% to US$3.52bn.

The company’s group net profit reached US$332m compared with US$554m for the same period a year earlier. As well as palm oil margins being a factor, Wilmar also saw higher selling expenses and lower foreign exchange gains. Operating profit also declined 54.5% to US$710m.

Sales for the first half were flat at 0.8% to US$20.8bn.

The group’s second quarter followed a similar pattern with net profit falling 21.9% to US$170m. Operating profit fell 73.5%to US$32. Sales were marginally up to US$10.5bn compared with US$10.4bn for the same period a year earlier.