From loss to surplus
New Zealand’s largest meat processor, Silver Fern Farms, says that if favourable conditions continue it will keep reporting strong results after posting a full year operating surplus of $40.6m.
That surplus was a turnaround from a loss of $8m reported by the farmerowned co-operative for the year to September 30, 2010.
The result came after performance premium payments, $6.6m of nonrecurring items and before tax.
Chief executive Keith Cooper said turnover improved to $2.1 billion up from $1.8b the previous year.
The company has also declared a dividend of 10 cents per ordinary share after a couple of years of paying bonus share issues. This was in addition to the quarterly performance premium payments, bringing total distributions to suppliers/shareholders of $14.5m.
Chairman Eoin Garden said the satisfying result came after a challenging year and a three-year restructuring programme which saw plant and lamb chain closures and the exit from a British operation.
There were associated redundancies.
‘‘We are also mindful of the need for industry aggregation. Our recent acquisition of two processing plants, the Wallace Waitoa plant and Frasertown Meats in Northern Hawke’s Bay, is evidence of our commitment to consolidation and is part of our wider strategic plan for the future of Silver Fern Farms,’’ Mr Garden said.
Mr Cooper said the improved surplus was a result of a number of inputs including stronger commodity prices and a modern consumer-facing, farmer-co-operative partnership. Silver Fern Farms was investing in product development and an innovative marketing strategy that was starting to bear fruit.