Bega Cheese produces strong result

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st February 2013

One of Australia’s fastest-growing food companies, Bega Cheese, has today announced a $15.9 million half-year profit.

Bega Cheese said its ongoing profit growth was attributable to the Company’s “willingness to invest in value-adding infrastructure.”

The Company reported a revenue increase of 9.6 per cent to $491 million attributed to a long-term contract with Coles supermarkets and increased production in cream cheese.  Bega Cheese’s EBITDA also increased 14 per cent to $37.4 million over the first half of the 2013 financial year.

Executive Chairman Barry Irwin said the positive result reflected improved volumes and efficiencies in cheese-cutting and packaging.

“This result is testament to the Company’s willingness to invest in value-adding infrastructure that enables us to quickly respond to our customer’s requirements,” Mr Irwin said.

Bega Cheese has recently invested $10.8 million in improving processes and infrastructure at its facilities in Bega (NSW), Tatura, Strathmerton and Coburg (all in Victoria).

Total cheese production was up 5.4 per cent to 110,000 tonnes for the half, driven by increased volumes at Bega’s cutting and packaging plants, and increased direct milk intake by 8.9 per cent.

“Increased milk supply has been achieved despite very difficult business circumstances for many of our suppliers as a result of decreased farm gate prices and rising input costs in the first half of 2013,” Mr Irwin said.

Bega Cheese reported strengthened relationships during the half, with renewed agreements from suppliers Fonterra, Ingredia and Mead Johnson, as well as long-term contracts signed with Coles and Kraft.

As a strategic priority, Bega Cheese announced that it will aim to increase its global presence in cream cheese and dairy nutritionals over the coming year, with particular focus on Asia and the Middle East. The Company also hopes to “protect and improve” its “pre-eminent position” in the packaging of Australian retail cheese.

Bega Cheese has announced a strong profit today in its half-year results.