MURRAY Goulburn Co-operative has reported a year of robust health, with profits up $20.4 million on the previous season.
Managing director Gary Helou reported yesterday that net profit after tax for the year to June 30 was $34.9 million, rebounding from the previous season’s $14.5 million profit which was impacted by several one-off costs associated with restructuring the company.
Announcing the result, Mr Helou said ordinary shares paid a final dividend of eight per cent, representing payments of $21 million or the equivalent of nine cents per kilogram of milk solids on top of the farmgate price.
The increased profit was earned on sales revenue that grew one per cent to $2.385 billion.
Commenting on the results, Mr Helou said Murray Goulburn delivered the solid performance despite tough seasonal conditions, lower dairy ingredients prices and a high Australian dollar.
“The dramatic improvement in world dairy prices and a lower Australian dollar came too late in the year to impact 2012/13, but they did support MG’s decision to open the 2013/14 season with a record high opening price of $5.73,” Mr Helou said.
“We have continued our focus on balancing our business portfolio, lowering costs, simplifying our organisation’s structure, building our supplier/shareholder base and delivering a higher farmgate milk price.”
Mr Helou said a number of strategic milestones had been achieved during the season, including a landmark 10-year entry into the daily pasteurised milk market, relaunching the Devondale brand across all categories, establishing offices in Dubai, Ho Chi Min City and Singapore and moving to 100 per cent ownership of its Chinese nutritionals business.
At the same time the company achieved $100 million in cost savings — a key aim for Mr Helou since he has been in charge.
“These savings are now flowing through to support a higher farmgate milk price,” he said. The co-operative’s milk intake lifted by two per cent to 2.990 billion litres, defying the national trend in which production declined three per cent.
Murray Goulburn’s final weighted-average farmgate milk price for the season was $4.97 per kilogram of milk solids (kgms), nine per cent lower than the previous year, reflecting low export commodity prices and a high Australian dollar for most of the financial year.
Combining this milk price with the share dividend puts the return to suppliers at $5.06/kgms average.