Murray Goulburn doubles profit margin in 2013

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th September 2013

Australia’s largest dairy co-operative, Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. Limited (Murray Goulburn) has announced a net profit after tax of $34.9 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2013, more than double its $14.5 million profit in 2012.

A final dividend of 8 per cent on ordinary shares has been declared, representing payments of $21 million. On average, this equates to nine cents per kilogram of milk solids, in addition the farm-gate milk price.

Murray Goulburn said it increased its milk intake in 2012-13 by 2 per cent to 2.990 billion litres in contrast to total Australian milk production, which fell by 3 per cent. Despite lower ingredients prices and a high Australian dollar, Murray Goulburn reports its sales revenue grew by 1 per cent to $2.385 billion, demonstrating improved sales in value-added products.

The final weighted-average farm-gate milk price for the 2013 financial year was $4.97 per kilogram of milk solids, 9 per cent lower than the prior year, which Murray Goulburn said reflected a “challenging year characterised by low average export commodity prices and a high Australian dollar for most of the financial year”. Murray Goulburn said that when the final milk price of $4.97 was combined with the dividend of nine cents, the total return to supplier shareholders on average was $5.06.

“Murray Goulburn delivered a solid performance in 2012-13 despite tough seasonal conditions, lower dairy ingredients prices and a high Australian dollar – all factors which were beyond our control,” said Gary Helou, Murray Goulburn Managing Director.

Murray Goulburn said the improvement in world dairy prices and a lower Australian dollar came too late in the year to impact 2012-13, but the improvements did support its decision to open the 2013-14 season with a high opening price of $5.73, a 27 per cent increase in the price available to suppliers at the start of the previous financial year.

“We have continued our focus on balancing our business portfolio, lowering costs, simplifying our organisation’s structure, building our supplier/shareholder base and delivering a higher farm-gate milk price,” Mr Helou said.

In 2012-13, Murray Goulburn said it achieved a number of “strategic milestones”, including announcing a 10-year entry into the daily pasteurised milk market, relaunching the Devondale brand across all categories, establishing offices in Dubai, Ho Chi Min City and Singapore, moving to 100 per cent ownership of its China nutritionals business and delivering $100 million in cost savings. It said the cost savings were now flowing through to support a higher farm-gate milk price.

“These changes demonstrate that we are delivering on our promises and making good progress towards becoming a First Choice Dairy Foods company,” Mr Helou said. “Australian dairy is well placed to capitalise on the enormous growth opportunities that lie on our doorstep and as the largest Australian-owned food business, Murray Goulburn is uniquely placed to lead the Australian dairy industry back to profitable growth,” he said.

Murray Goulburn has doubled its profit in 2013