Dairy processor Murray Goulburn posts a $31.9m loss as milk production plummets

Australia's largest dairy processor Murray Goulburn has posted a $31.9 million loss in its half-year results. By Brett Worthington
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In an announcement to the stock exchange, the company said revenue had fallen 14.8 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.
Milk supplies have fallen 20.6 per cent, the result of farmers leaving the company, production cuts on farms and seasonal conditions.
Net debt for the six months was $677 million, up more than 72 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.
There had been growing fears among Murray Goulburn workers that the company would close factories in Gippsland and northern Victoria.
The company’s press release states a review of its assets was continuing but a final decision was yet to be made.
Murray Goulburn said it would consider lifting this season’s milk prices a further $0.03 cents a kilogram provided there was «no further material deterioration in milk intake, dairy commodity prices» and exchange rates.
Shares in Murray Goulburn fell 7 per cent in early trade to 90 cents.
In December 2015, shares in the company were $2.56.
Murray Goulburn, which shocked the industry when it suddenly and retrospectively cut prices paid to farmers last April, posted a 61.2 per cent lift in profit after tax, to $40.6 million, in last year’s annual report.
The company has also confirmed in the annual report that it would cut 200 staff as part of a restructure.
Murray Goulburn had forecasted a $42 million after tax profit for the 2016-17 financial year, but announced in October it would «now be lower given revised expectations for milk intake».
Newly appointed chief executive Ari Mervis told ABC Rural the company was no longer publicly forecasting a full-year profit or loss.
«I’m not putting out a figure because at this stage of the year we still need to observe the full milk intake [and] the consequences of our decisions in terms of where we’re taking the business going forward.
«I think it would be inappropriate for us to put out a profit forecast at this stage.»
Chairman retirement looms as Murray Goulburn finds a replacement
At the October meeting, the chairman Phil Tracy also said he would retire from the board. He later said he would wait until a new boss, Ari Mervis, started this month.
It remains unclear when Mr Tracy will officially retire.
The company’s press release today stated that Murray Goulburn was «progressing the task of appointing a new chair».
«All outcomes are being considered including the option of appointing a non-supplier chair. A review of board structure and composition also continues,» the statement reads.
Dairy company Bega Cheese this week also released its financial results.
It posted a $15.7 million profit for the first half of the financial year.
A year of volatility amid an industry crisis
Earlier this month, former boss Gary Helou hit back at critics and defended the actions he and Murray Goulburn took when they announced the price cuts.
Farmers hurt by those cuts had waited almost 10 months for Mr Helou to speak.
Mr Helou said he had not been approached by authorities over allegations of misleading investors and the milk processing giant had acted on the best information that was available at the time.
Source: ABC
Link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-24/dairy-murray-goulburn-half-year-results/8286596

Mirá También

Así lo expresó Domingo Possetto, secretario de la seccional Rafaela, quien además, afirmó que a los productores «habitualmente los ignoran los gobiernos». Además, reconoció la labor de los empresarios de las firmas locales y aseguró que están «esperanzados» con la negociación entre SanCor y Adecoagro.

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