KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25, 2008 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- Evergreen Fibreboard Berhad (KLSE:5101) has registered a 31 per cent drop in first half pre-tax profit following an increase in log and glue prices as well as freight charges as a result of higher crude oil prices.

Its pre-tax profit for the six months ended 30 June 2008 tumbled to RM54.501 million (US$16.2 million) from RM78.968 million for the same period last year, the manufacturer of medium density fibreboard (MDF) and knocked-down wooden furniture and doors said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Aug 22.

Revenue edged up 1.7 per cent to RM365.514 million from RM359.307 million previously.

Earnings per share dipped to 11.68 sen from 12.61 sen last year.

Evergreen said its second quarter pre-tax profit plummeted 44 per cent to RM24.378 million from RM43.535 million while revenue slipped 3.2 per cent to RM186.301 million from RM192.557 million.

It attributed the lower revenue to the strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar and lower prices of boards from subsidiaries PT Hijau Lestari Raya Fibreboard and Evergreen Fibreboard (JB) Sdn. Bhd (EJB).

Evergreen said the global economy is expected to slow down in the short term due to the financial fallout from the US subprime problems and record high oil prices.

However, the board is of the view that the group would be able to weather the challenging market environment with limited impact to its financial performance if the economy slowdown is short lived.

"The Group ridgeline has been strengthened with its vertical investment in a green field glue plant and Bio Mass Power plant which would start to contribute positively to the group's cost savings," it said.