Warrnambool returns to profit

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter has returned to profit, citing a lower farmgate milk price as one of the key factors.

The company announced last week a half-year result of $12 million profit.

This compared with a $1.2 million loss for the same period last year - a $13.2 million turnaround.

The company said it intended to accelerate its growth activities, invest in capital project, increase manufacturing capacity, grow milk intake and create new opportunities.

It said the "realigning of raw milk cost with market conditions" was one of the reasons for the turnaround.

Other factors pointed to for the improved performance were higher returns from the consumer goods business and joint ventures and a lower average Australian dollar.

The company said there had been some recovery in international dairy price but the dollar was above its 2015-16 average and remained volatile.

It also said final year results could be influenced by:

  • Retrospective milk payments that could be applied from July 1;
  • Seasonal milk flow variations resulting in less effective utilisation of plant;
  • Variations in international prices; and
  • Movements in foreign exchange rates between the US dollar and the Australian dollar.