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M. P. Evans Group (MPE)

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Monday 17 January, 2022

M. P. Evans Group

Crop, production and special dividend

RNS Number : 5404Y
M. P. Evans Group PLC
17 January 2022
 

M. P. EVANS GROUP PLC

("THE GROUP")
2021 crop and production and special dividend of 5 pence per share

M.P. Evans Group PLC, the producer of sustainable Indonesian palm oil, is pleased to announce the following crop and production information for the year ended 31 December 2021, along with a special dividend of 5 pence per share in connection with the previously announced Bertam Estate land disposal:

 

 

2021

Increase

2020

 

Tonnes

%

Tonnes

Crop of fresh fruit bunches ("ffb")

 

 

 

Own crop

809,700

12

724,300

Scheme smallholder crop

229,300

19

193,000

Independent smallholder crop

327,200

13

289,700

 

1,366,200

13

1,207,000

 

 

 

 

Production*

 

 

 

Crude palm oil ("CPO")

312,900

15

271,700

Palm kernels ("PK")

67,100

11

60,400

         

*- figures include production from the Group's crop sold to third-party mills.

Crop and production increased once again in 2021, reflecting the benefits of the Group's long-term investment strategy and the increasing maturity of its oil-palm plantings. Their average age nevertheless remains young by industry standards, with significant production growth still to come. All of the Group's estates operated without interruption throughout the year, with Covid-19 safety measures in place.

During 2021, the Group achieved an average mill-gate price for its CPO of US$810 per tonne compared with US$591 in the previous year, an increase of 37%. Prices for palm kernels averaged US$533 per tonne (mill gate), higher than the US$316 in 2020. CPO pricing continues to be strong as the Group moves into 2022, with CPO mill-gate prices achieved at the start of the year of approximately US$1,000 per tonne.

The Group remains committed to the production of certified sustainable palm oil and is pleased to report that it received total sustainability premia of US$4.3 million related to the sale of its certified sustainable output, significantly higher than the US$2.6 million received in 2020.

Over the course of 2021, the Group has been extremely cash generative, enabling it to reduce net debt from US$78.1 million at the start of the year to below US$10 million by year end. This puts the Group in an even stronger position to proceed with its stated strategy of acquiring additional land close to its existing estates. A number of potential acquisitions are currently under review.

Considering the reported crop growth, the increase in CPO prices observed in the year, and the ongoing cash generation, it remains the board's intention to recommend a total normal dividend of at least 30 pence per share in respect of 2021, inclusive of the 10 pence per share interim dividend already paid. In addition, following the successful completion of the Bertam Estate land disposal announced in October 2021, the board is pleased to announce a special dividend of 5 pence per share. The special dividend will be paid on 11 February 2022 to shareholders on the register on 28 January 2022.

M.P. Evans executive chairman, Peter Hadsley-Chaplin, commented: "The Group has achieved a significant increase in crop processed which, in conjunction with the strong palm-oil market, will form the basis for an excellent result for the year. We anticipate further crop increases from the Group's first-class estates and, with current CPO sales at prices approximately US$200 per tonne above the 2021 average, 2022 is already off to a very encouraging start."

Enquiries:

M.P. Evans Group PLC

Telephone: +44 (0) 1892 516333

Peter Hadsley-Chaplin, Chairman
Matthew Coulson, Chief Executive

Peel Hunt LLP (Nomad and joint broker)

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Dan Webster

Andrew Clark

finnCap (Joint broker)

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Tim Redfern
Harriet Ward

Hudson Sandler (Financial PR)

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Charlie Jack
Elfie Kent

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