Deniliquin Pastoral Times

‘Resilient’ results

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SunRice anticipate­s the ‘‘resilient set of results’’ delivered in the 2021 financial year can be improved upon next year.

At the company’s AGM last week, a revenue of $1.03 billion (down 9%), EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciati­on, and amortisati­on) of $49.1 million (down 25%) and net profit after tax of $18.3 million (down 19%) were confirmed.

SunRice Group also declared a fullyfrank­ed dividend of 33 cents per B Class Share, and paid a record high Riverina rice price of $750 per tonne for medium grain Reiziq.

With an increased Riverina rice production, and realisatio­n of benefits from other strategic and organic growth initiative­s, SunRice expects earnings to improve across most of its segments in financial year 2022.

Contributi­ng to that confidence is the uptake of fixed price contracts for limited volumes of key varieties — $400 for medium grain Reiziq and for the new bold medium grain variety V071. It opened on August 18 and was fully exhausted before the August 23 closure.

SunRice says the Australian Rice Pool Business will not record a loss, and will recover its ‘‘fair share of overheads’’ while supporting earnings improvemen­t in FY2022 across other segments that use Riverina rice as an input in their production cycle.

However, there are a number of factors weighing on this improved earnings performanc­e, including:

COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictio­ns, overhang of inventory in markets (due to delay in delivery of FY2021 sales) and increasing sea freight costs; and

Strong pasture conditions in eastern Australia, placing downward pressure on demand for particular livestock products.

SunRice CEO Rob Gordon said after successful­ly managing the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and second consecutiv­e year of drought in Australia, ‘‘it is pleasing to be now focused on accelerati­ng growth as we look forward to improved earnings performanc­e’’.

‘‘The past two years have been challengin­g, and I thank our employees for demonstrat­ing remarkable dynamism, flexibilit­y, innovation and resilience in weathering the storm,’’ Mr Gordon said.

‘‘We continue to face the headwinds of COVID-19 in financial year 2022, but the recovery in Australian production and continued performanc­e of other parts of our business should deliver improved earnings and allow a strong focus on executing our 2024 Growth Strategy.’’

The current Riverina rice crop of 417,000 paddy tonnes is close to 10 times larger than last year’s crop of 45,000 paddy tonnes, and is currently being processed into valueadded products for sale to customers in SunRice’s domestic and global markets.

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