Planter adopt­ing new palm oil es­tate de­sign and in­creas­ing mech­a­ni­sa­tion to raise pro­duc­tiv­ity

New Straits Times - - Business - SIM BAK HENG KUALA TERENG­GANU bt@me­di­

TDM Bhd ex­pects to see higher crop out­put af­ter adopt­ing a new oil palm es­tate de­sign un­der its replanting ex­er­cise. Un­der the new lay­out, it will be­come pos­si­ble to in­crease the number of oil palm trees from be­tween 110 and 112 trees per hectare to be­tween 145 and 160 trees, a hike of over 30 per cent.

Group man­ag­ing direc­tor Datuk Mo­hamat Muda said there would also be an in­crease in mech­a­ni­sa­tion in all its es­tates, which would raise pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fi­ciency in the long run.

“We have set a tar­get of in­creas­ing the size of our oil palm plan­ta­tion in Tereng­ganu from 31,807ha to 52,000ha within the next five years,” he said af­ter the group’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing (AGM), here, yes­ter­day.

TDM’s rev­enue for the first quar­ter of the year in­creased 17 per cent to RM113.9 mil­lion, while it recorded net profit of RM22.5 mil­lion, a turnaround from net loss of RM2.9 mil­lion in the same pe­riod pre­vi­ously.

Mo­hamat at­trib­uted TDM’s im­proved per­for­mance to its plan­ta­tion di­vi­sion, which en­joyed higher sell­ing prices of crude palm oil and palm ker­nels, as well as higher pro­duc­tion vol­umes.

Rev­enue from the plan­ta­tion di­vi­sion in the first quar­ter rose 38 per cent to RM69.3 mil­lion, com­pared with RM50.2 mil­lion in the same pe­riod last year.

In the health­care di­vi­sion, rev­enue in the quar­ter was RM44.6 mil­lion, a slight de­cline from RM47.4 mil­lion a year be­fore, due to a two per cent drop in the number of in­pa­tients.

“We also in­curred higher staff costs due to new reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments, which com­pelled us to in­crease the staff-to-bed ra­tio from 1:6 to 1:2,” he said, adding that the number of hospi­tal beds would be in­creased from 297 to 1,000 within the next five years.

Mean­while, at the AGM, share­hold­ers ap­proved the fi­nal div­i­dend pay­ment of 0.5 sen per share.

Share­hold­ers also ap­proved a one-for-10 bonus is­sue ex­er­cise at the com­pany’s ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing later.

Datuk Mo­hamat Muda

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