Listed companies profits up 5.6% in first half

First-half profits at listed companies increased by 5.6% year-on-year to 517 billion baht despite a drop in earnings in the second quarter.

Leading the growth were manufacturers of consumer products while property developers showed signs of a rebound in the wake of improved economic forecasts for the latter half, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) said in a statement on Monday.

SET senior executive vice-president Santi Kiranand said 77.8% of the 605 listed companies and funds which submitted operating results showed profits on par with last year for the first half.

In the first six months, total sales rose 10% year-on-year to 5.4 trillion baht while net profits advanced 5.6% to 516.5 billion baht. Leading the gains were the energy and utility sector and the petrochemicals and chemicals sector, whose performances improved in line with a 40% increase in global crude prices to $51 a barrel. State-owned PTT Plc continued to be the most profitable, posting 77.5 billion baht for the period.

Average gross profit margin, however, fell to 23.3% from 25% in the previous year.

For first-half operations, 117 companies paid 93.9 billion baht in dividends to date, compared with 88 billion baht in the previous year.

“Over the first six months, the economy recovered gradually, benefiting sales at listed companies. But higher production and sales costs led to a drop in gross and net profits in the second quarter,” Mr Santi said.

In terms of capital gains, the SET index, which grew by 1.5% year-to-date, lagged behind the other four key Asean stock markets. The Philippines posted the biggest jump of 17.2% since the beginning of this year, followed by Vietnam (15.7%), Indonesia (11.3%) and Malaysia (8.2%).

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