Luxury beef bound for Taiwan

Trevor ChappellThe West Australian

Australian Agricultural Company is set to expand the market for its luxury beef brands in Asia.

Australia’s leading beef producer says it will enter the Taiwan market next month after a successful launch in Singapore in October.

“Off the back of what we’ve learned in Singapore, we have started a little while ago the roll-out plans for other markets, the next one being Taiwan, which we will go into on June 8,” AACo managing director Jason Strong said yesterday.

He said the Singapore launch of AACo’s two flagship beep brands, Westholme and Wylarah, had been successful.

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Sales volumes since the launch to March had grown by 11 per cent and the average sale price across all products had increased by 28 per cent.

AACo supplies 27 markets, the key ones being the US, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

It booked a net profit for the year to March 31 of $71.6 million, up 5.6 per cent from $67.8 million in the prior year.

Revenue from meat and live cattle sales fell 8.7 per cent to $446.7 million as the company focused on the higher-value segments of its business, but production costs fell by 27 per cent.

Mr Strong said total beef sales were lower because AACo had acquired fewer less-profitable short-fed cattle, which in other years would have flowed through the system and contributed to the company’s revenue.

He said AACo did not look at the total meat sales volumes as being good or bad and was more interested in the profit that could be generated from sales.

“Last year, we demonstrated that we can produce a lot more revenue off a much smaller cattle herd; this year we’ve shown that we can actually produce three times the margin, three times the earnings off a smaller revenue,” Mr Strong said.

AACo expects to further improve its performance in fiscal 2018. “The improved financial results in FY17 are a result of our focus on investing in our brands, opening new market opportunities like we have done in Singapore, driving margin through our integrated supply chains and enhancing efficiency and product quality through innovation,” Mr Strong said.

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