WAMMCO DELIVERS $20M RECORD PROFIT
Solid international market demand has enabled the WA Meat Marketing Co-operative to deliver a record pre-tax net profit (before pool bonus) of $20.02 million for the 2017-18 year, while still paying high prices to producers for their lambs and mutton.
The result, unveiled at yesterday’s annual general meeting, marked a huge increase on a year earlier, when the co-operative delivered $2.6 million.
WAMMCO, which has plants in Katanning and Goulburn in NSW, recorded consolidated turnover of $380 million in 2017-18 after processing more than two million animals, equally spilt between the two sites. Chief executive Coll MacRury said the result enabled a record pool bonus of $4.3 million to be rebated to producers in August, based on 50¢/kg for qualifying lambs and 25¢/kg for qualifying mutton, while it would also invest in further improvements in the plant.
The co-operative paid an average of $135 per head of lamb and $97 per head of mutton. Mr MacRury said WAMMCO had processed some sheep that became available as part of the live export pause, but it had little impact on the year’s financial results given the Katanning plant was closed in June for maintenance.
He said challenges remained in sourcing staff, but he said existing staff regularly worked overtime, enabling WAMMCO to drive processing costs to below budget levels during 2017-18.
“We have had trouble and have brought in some visa people to supplement. It’s minimal — 5 per cent of our 360-strong workforce,” he said.
He said if sheep live exports “fell over”, WAMMCO would look more seriously at bringing in extras from offshore.
Looking forward, Mr MacRury said international lamb and mutton product prices should remain relatively strong throughout the current financial year, though a slight increase in New Zealand lamb production could put downward pressure on prices from February to May 2019.