Turnaround complete for Elders
Australian agribusiness Elders is paying its first dividend in almost 10 years with full year results showing profits doubled in the past year.
Results showed net profit after tax of $116 million compared to $51.6 million in the previous year, and underlying net profit after tax improved $16.5 million to $57.7 million.
Elders chief executive Mark Allison said the results reflected work on the company’s eight point plan that was crafted to lead the company into the next three-year growth phase.
The company will pay a fully franked final dividend of 7.5c per share plus a fully franked special dividend of 7.5c per share with Mr Allison saying these “are Elders’ first shareholder dividends since 2008”.
“Balanced growth was achieved across the portfolio, with the retail business posting a $7.8 million increase in margin due to normalised summer cropping conditions and geographical expansion,” he said.
Elders grew its retail capability with the acquisition of Ace Ohlsson, a New South Wales-based horticultural operation.
“Cattle and sheep prices remained strong, which combined with the benefit from footprint expansion, resulted in an $11 million margin improvement,” Mr Allison said.
Margins for the real estate business improved by $2.7 million with low interest rates and high livestock prices continuing to generate demand for large cattle farming and broadacre cropping properties.
Elders also bought Southern Districts Estate Agency during the year and a 30 per cent stake in the StockCo livestock financing business and an additional 10 per cent of Elders Insurance, taking its total ownership to 20 per cent.
These boosted margins for financial services by $35.1 million, up $8.9 million.
“Elders feed and processing services improved 17 per cent on last year through increased utilisation at Killara Feedlot and continued success in paddock procurement strategies, with an increase of $1 million in underlying profit,” Mr Allison said.
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