SFF Ltd records $65.4m profit

Simon Limmer. Photo: Supplied
Simon Limmer. Photo: Supplied
A $65.4million after-tax net profit for Silver Fern Farms Ltd is "very pleasing" in the context of a year of disruption and complexity, chief executive Simon Limmer says.

The company’s result for the year ending December 31 was down slightly on the previous year’s result of $70.7million but was still its second-strongest result of the past decade.

Silver Fern Farms Co-operative, which jointly owns Silver Fern Farms Ltd with Chinese-owned Shanghai Maling Aquarius, posted a net profit of $32.4million, down from $35.1million the previous year.

Silver Fern Farms Ltd’s revenue was $2.5billion, down from $2.6billion in 2019, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda), including share-of-associate earnings, was up from $124.3million to $125.7million.

In a statement, Mr Limmer said the company’s financial performance — delivered through a remarkably dynamic and unprecedented trading environment — showed its growing resilience and sustainability of returns.

"We have never gone this long without meeting face to face with our global customers and stakeholders and that possibility is still some time away.

"Despite all that disruption, we have witnessed character and resilience throughout our Silver Fern Farms community, from on farm right through to our partners in market. The way we worked as a team, continuously finding solutions and looking out for each other, was key to our performance in 2020," he said.

Richard Young. Photo: Supplied
Richard Young. Photo: Supplied
The company was now showing four years of sustained profitability. That was the level of financial performance required to provide an appropriate return on investment to its shareholders and enabled it to continue investing in infrastructure, systems and the capabilities necessary to execute its market focused strategy, he said.

Silver Fern Farms Ltd directors have declared a 100% imputed dividend of $26.2million payable to its two shareholders. Total shareholder equity at December 31 was $609.5million, up from $571million in 2019.

Silver Fern Farms Co-operative chairman Richard Young said the strong result achieved by the co-operative and Silver Fern Farms Ltd was built off the skill and expertise of its people, who navigated the company through a period of considerable uncertainty. It was a special achievement given the wide range of constraints the company was under throughout the year.

The co-operative had declared a distribution of $8.1million in dividends and patronage reward, marking the fourth consecutive year of distributions.

Eligible shareholders, on the record date of April 16, would receive a 100% imputed dividend of 5.5c per share, payable to all ordinary and rebate shareholders. A 100% imputed patronage reward of 5.7c per share would be paid on qualifying shares to supplying shareholders based on supply during 2020.

The co-operative will hold its annual meeting in Dunedin on April 29.


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