A DROP in cattle numbers through Warrnambool’s saleyards last financial year has been blamed for a lower-than expected surplus.
The operating profit of $333,000 was $113,150 below budget.
Corporate strategies director Kevin Leddin said the lower profit equated to about 10,000 less cattle through the yards.
On the other side of the ledger, expenditure was tightly controlled and came in $48,549 under budget.
The city’s annual financial report shows the saleyards generated $1.214 million in user fees last financial year — $41,000 more than the previous period. It also had expenses of $442,000 listed as materials and services — $14,000 more than the previous financial year.
Opponents of proposals to cut council ownership of the livestock saleyards have argued strongly that it is one of the few municipal operations to regularly return a profit.
Some election candidates have called for a delay in the process to find an alternative owner-operator.
A special reference committee is analysing responses to a call for expressions of interest early this year, but The Standard has been told details of the process are confidential and will not be disclosed.