SINGAPORE — Olam International announced on Nov. 14 that its profit after tax increased 5.7% to S$45.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. 
The company said it maintained sales volume at 3.67 million tonnes, while sales revenue declined by 7.9% due to lower commodity prices

“The first quarter results demonstrate a good start to our new financial year as we continue to make progress on our strategy,” said Australia Olam’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sunny Verghese. “Our focus on margin enhancement and cost efficiency is reflected in these latest results. We are particularly pleased with the improvement in free cash flow generation in this quarter, which is a priority for us.” 

Free Cash Flow to Firm (FCFF) improved from a negative S$706.8 million in the first quarter of 2013 to positive S$46.0 million in the first quarter of 2014.

“Our segments performed well, with most registering increased volumes despite the challenging industry environment,” said Olam’s Executive Director of Finance and Business Development A. Shekhar. “Our strategy to expand selectively into the upstream and midstream segments has given us improved margins, which contributed substantially to our EBITDA growth.”

The Company is on track to generate positive cash flow for 2014 based on its continued efforts to drive higher operating cash flow generation from its existing business, unlocking value from past investments, reduced pace of fixed capital investments and expected changes in working capital for the rest of the year on projected organic growth at current prices, the company said.