Malaysias Sime Darby Plantation Bhd said on Thursday that its third quarter net profit fell 39% versus a year ago. The worlds largest oil palm planter by land holdings reported a net profit of 249 million ringgit for the quarter ended March against 410 million ringgit in the same quarter last year. The companys revenue stood at 3.66 billion ringgit, down from 4.35 billion ringgit last year. The Groups third quarter performance was affected by lower production of FFB particularly in Indonesia,Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, as well as lower average crude palm oil (CPO) price and palm kernel (PK) price realised. However, this was mitigated by lower finance costs incurred in line with lower borrowings during the quarter. The Group expects the full year FFB production to improve from the previous financial year as the El Nino effect tapers off. Although this is expected to continue putting downward pressure on CPO prices, the upcoming festive season, and possible tariffs by China on soybean imports from the US could lend support to palm oil demand, noted the company in its earnings presentation.