Profitable year leaves Alliance in strong position

Alliance chairman Murray Taggart. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Alliance chairman Murray Taggart. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Alliance group has doubled profits to $20.7 million and will pay its farmer shareholders a $9 million fillip for the year to September.

The country's largest processor and exporter of sheep and lamb products, yesterday reported turnover of $1.7 billion, largely on the back of record demand and prices from China.

Alliance chairman Murray Taggart, said the increase in profit was pleasing and reflected the co-operative's drive to maximise operational efficiency and focus on capturing greater market value.

''Alliance Group has made good operational gains, sales and marketing has gathered momentum and we have continued our programme of building capability and investing in the co-operative for the long term.''

He said global market prices for most species were generally strong across the board.

''The outbreak of African Swine Fever and the subsequent culling of the Chinese pig herd led to an increase in demand for other proteins such as New Zealand beef and there was also strong growth in the global food service sector.''

He said the co-operative was pleased to announce a $9 million profit payable to its shareholders which for the first time would come with imputation credits for shareholders.

The distribution would be broken down by species, with lamb at $1.50/head, ewes at $0.50/head, cattle at $8.00/head, deer at $5.00/head and calves at $0.50/head.

Alliance chief executive David Surveyor said the co-operative's performance demonstrated the company's transformation strategy remains ''on track''.

''Our farmers tell us they value the progress we are making to build a stronger, more profitable and sustainable business that benefits their farm businesses and wider rural communities.''

As part of its results announcement, the co-operative also announced it had been able to increase the amount it paid in advance payment for lamb to $25/head, to support farmers' cash flow.

Mr Surveyor said the company continued to invest in plant modernisation.

''We also continued to lift our beef processing performance with our Levin, Mataura and Pukeuri plants processing record numbers of cattle during the 2018-19 season.''

brent.melville@odt.co.nz

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