Meat firm improves profit from previous result

Southern meat processor Blue Sky Pastures has posted a $3.8 million after-tax profit in the year ended June 30.

That was an increase on the previous year’s $3.1 million result, and new chief executive Jim Goodall said the performance was pleasing, given the 2020 year had been a 15-month season.

‘‘It’s been a challenging 12 months, especially with the shipping issues that have slowed delivery to key markets, so to have this increased financial performance within the regular reporting period is a good achievement for the team.’’

Borrowings had decreased by $6.4 million and total shareholders’ equity was up by $2.7 million (10%). A dividend of 5c a share would be paid.

The company’s Gore plant had been sold and the transaction was to settle next month.

In his review, chairman Scott O’Donnell thanked former chief executive Todd Grave — who left to head Meadow Mushrooms — for ‘‘getting us back on track and profitable’’ after the issues with the BX Foods takeover, director retirements and procurement challenges.

The balance sheet was now strong enough to look at future strong reinvestment and the firm’s bank had agreed to further debt to support that strategy.

Mr Goodall’s arrival in July this year had been a ‘‘great boost’’ for the business.

His long years of experience in the red meat sector, plus his history of brand development in offshore markets, set Blue Sky up well for a new future, Mr O’Donnell said.

‘‘2021 will go down as one of the most unusual periods of trading in my 25-year career, but the resilience and effort of the entire team at Blue Sky have allowed the business to continue to build momentum.

‘‘Blue Sky is nowhere near its potential, but Jim can lead us into new and exciting directions which will allow the business to reach this potential,’’ he said.

The company’s annual meeting would be held virtually on October 21.