From loss to sur­plus

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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.

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