Record revenues announced by Australia’s major rice producer

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 25th July 2012

One of Australia’s largest food producers, SunRice, has announced a strong financial result for the 12 months ending 30 April 2012.

SunRice Ricegrowers Limited, trading as SunRice, is Australia’s leading branded rice food company, with products marketed in close to 60 countries around the globe.

Consolidated revenue for the year reached $1 billion for the first time, up 24% on the previous year’s AU $809 million. Consolidated profit after tax for the period was AU$33.9 million, up 158.9% compared to the $13.1 million recorded in  2011.

In line with its recent advice to shareholders, SunRice confirmed its gearing level was 66% at 30 April 2012, dropping below the target of 70% set by the Board.

SunRice Chairman, Mr. Gerry Lawson AM, said the result was very pleasing and that the company had experienced an exceptional 12 months. “SunRice has had a strong trading year thanks to hard work, good decision making and capitalising on favourable international market conditions and opportunities,” Mr. Lawson said.

“We have seen the continued recovery of Australian rice production, including receivals of 800,000 tonnes of paddy rice in 2011, up from 205,000 tonnes in the previous year. “ he said.

“The activities of 2011/12 have led to the employment of more than 200 new staff, significant local infrastructure upgrades and the re-establishment of regional supply relationships,” Mr. Lawson continued. “Including the 2011/12 dividend and paddy payments, this represents an injection of approximately $300 million into the regional communities where the majority of our growers and shareholders live.”

SunRice CEO, Mr. Rob Gordon, said he was delighted with the robust results to 30 April 2012.

“The business performance over the past 12 months was a significant achievement and places us in a much stronger position,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr. Gordon added that with the return to a more normal outlook for local rice production, significant work was underway to ensure SunRice has appropriate levels of investment in its capital infrastructure, markets and brands, as well as an efficient and flexible global supply chain.

SunRice’s results will be presented in full at the company’s AGM in Jerilderie on 24 August 2012.

Last year, Australian Food News reported the Spanish company Ebro Foods failed bid to buy SunRice Ricegrowers. The Spanish food maker failed to win over enough of the shareholders, at a time not long after the breaking of a long drought that had devastated the fortunes of many Australian rice-growers.

If the Spanish bid was a situation of offering too little too late to the drought-impacted rice-farmers, the story for SunRice’s future seems boundless. With rice in strong demand, the brand is now basking in the sun with lots more in the reservoir.