WCB reports profits up 300%

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 1st March 2011

warnambool-cheese-and-butter.jpgWarrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings has posted a 300% leap in first half net profits and insisted that its prospects for the remainder of this year are significantly better than they were for 2010.In a regulatory filing yesterday, WCB revealed that first half net profits rose to $36.4 million, up 307.8% from $8.9 million for the first half of last year. The company said that EBITDA gained 191% year-on-year, rising to $61.1 million.

The Australian dairy group said that its numbers for the half were boosted by higher commodity prices – which were up 36.4% on the year. The company said that growing global demand looks set to continue to benefit the business in the near-term.

“International commodity prices have held firm over the first six months, and current indications are they will remain so for the balance of the financial year,” WCB said.

Total sales for the six months ended 31 December climbed 24.9% to A$254.6m, with gains led by growing revenues from the group’s consumer unit.

The result is a turnaround for the group, whose previous losses prompted an ‘undervalued’ takeover bid from rival Murray-Goulburn.

However, the company noted that its first half is traditionally stronger than its second half, due in part to seasonal factors. During the second half, the company may be subject to increases in milk prices, seasonal milk flow variations and variations in foreign exchange rates, WCB cautioned.

Nevertheless, the company said: “The outlook for the full 2011 financial year is more positive than that of 2010.”