Warrnambool Cheese & Butter reports recovery

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd September 2010

warnambool-cheese-and-butter.jpgWarrnambool Cheese and Butter has reported a recovery from last year’s losses of nearly $20 million, with the company now back in the black to the tune of $8.8 million.

The company reported steady milk intake and a record production level, with a 7.4% increase in sales volumes, but revenues down 5.6%. EBIT were up from a $24.6 million loss last year to a $16.9 million profit in 2010 – a gain of $41.4 million.

“The Company was able to record a solid profit outcome of $8.8 million, a major turnaround from the 19.9 million loss recorded in the previous year,” said WCB chairman Francis J Davis.

“We have been able to reward the loyalty of our supplier base by maintaining a competitive milk price throughout the 2010 financial year, and by announcing a strong opening price for the year ahead.”

The Chairman also had some decisive words regarding takeover interest.

“During the year, the Company attracted unwelcome expressions of interest from predators seeking to capitalise on our weakened position and acquire the Company at bargain prices. The Board, encouraged by overwhelming support from shareholders and suppliers, rejected the approaches as significantly undervaluing the Company.”

Davis highlighted continuing volatility in commodity prices and the possibility of another financial crisis in the year ahead, but said the company expected to build on an excellent start to the season in milk production to deliver stakeholder benefits.