Wright­son op­ti­mistic about per­for­mance

Otago Daily Times - - BUSINESS & MONEY - SALLY RAE

PGG WRIGHT­SON is op­ti­mistic about the prospects for its trad­ing per­for­mance for the year ahead, fore­cast­ing a sim­i­lar re­sult to the previous year.

In an up­date to the mar­ket, chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Glas­son said the ru­ral ser­vices com­pany was fore­cast­ing full­year op­er­at­ing ebitda to June 30, 2019, of about $70 mil­lion.

It was ‘‘early days’’, as the first quar­ter was tra­di­tion­ally a quiet trad­ing pe­riod and there had been a late start to spring. How­ever, ac­tiv­ity had picked up dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

While it was too early to forecast net profit af­ter tax with ac­cu­racy, the com­pany had pre­vi­ously an­nounced that — upon a suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the seed and grain busi­ness dur­ing FY2019 — it would ex­pect a net cap­i­tal gain of more than $120 mil­lion which would flow through NPAT.

In Au­gust, PGW an­nounced it in­tended sell­ing its seed and grain busi­ness to Den­mark­based DLF Seeds for $421 mil­lion.

The com­pany’s re­tail and wa­ter group pro­duced an ‘‘out­stand­ing’’ re­sult in FY2018 and slightly im­proved op­er­at­ing ebitda was ex­pected this year, Mr Glas­son said.

In­di­ca­tors sug­gested the hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor’s im­pres­sive per­for­mance was set to con­tinue and it was ex­pected the live­stock and wool busi­nesses would con­tinue to per­form well. How­ever, the ru­ral real es­tate mar­ket had soft­ened since mid­2017, he said.

Doc­u­men­ta­tion for a com­bined spe­cial meet­ing and the 2018 an­nual meet­ing of share­hold­ers, on Oc­to­ber 30 in Christchurch, would be sent to share­hold­ers this week.

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