Sun Rice sees profits plummet but sales stay strong

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd December 2009

Leading Australian branded rice business, SunRice, has reported a heavy fall in profit for the six months to October 31 despite sales almost matching last year’s record result.

SunRice Chairman Gerry Lawson said the profit decline was expected as the business had returned to more ‘normal levels of performance’ following last year’s one-off record profit that was assisted by surging rice prices.

Consolidated revenue for the first half of the year to 31 October 2009 was $454.8 million, just 0.5% lower than the $457.3 million achieved in the same period last year. Profit after tax, however, was just $6.3 million, down 89.4 % on the $59 million for the same period last year.

“Last year was an extraordinary year on the global rice market, which led to an extraordinary result. However, the business has now returned to a more normal level of profitability,” Mr Lawson advised. “The second half of the year, which is also expected to be in line with historical performance, will be impacted by the strong Australian dollar, weaker global demand, softening of commodity prices, and the continuing drought conditions.

“Importantly, there is a renewed sense of optimism in the industry this year, following the higher water allocations and stronger plantings. We look forward to the coming crop.”