Fonterra places trading halt on NZX units

Fonterra placed a trading halt on its units on the NZX yesterday as it works through reviewing its earnings guidance.

It expects to update the market by the end of trading today.

Fonterra Shareholder Fund units last traded at $5.11, down more than 18% from a year ago, having started the year at $6.66 in January.

In a brief notice to the NZX yesterday, Fonterra said it was preparing its annual financial statements for the financial year ended July.

''As a result of the work being undertaken there may be a variation from the earnings guidance previously given to the market,'' the company said.

The fund's units are open to the public and also farmer suppliers.

In March, Fonterra posted a first-half net loss of $348million because of a $405million writedown of its 18.8% investment in Chinese infant milk formula company Beingmate and a $183million settlement with Danone, following their dispute over the 2013 whey protein recall, BusinessDesk reported.

In May, Fonterra lowered its earnings guidance, cut its forecast dividend payments to unit holders and raised its forecast farmgate milk price for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

At the time Fonterra cut its earnings forecast to 25c-30c per share and dividend to 15c-20c.

In early July Craigs Investment Partners dropped the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund from its equities portfolio, describing its performance after almost six years as ''lacklustre at best''.


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