Pamu to pay Govt

State-owned farming company Landcorp will pay a $5 million dividend to the Government in October — its first in four years.

The country’s largest farmer, which now goes under its brand-name Pamu, posted an after-tax net profit of $34.2 million for the year ended June 30, a 34% reduction on the previous year.

It attributed lower gains from forestry and livestock assets and a higher tax expense for the $17.7 million reduction.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and revaluations (ebitdar) were up $12.9 million to $48.5 million.

Revenue grew 7% to $247.1 million, which included a 15% increase in livestock revenue and $8.1 million income from carbon forestry investments.In a statement, chief executive Steven Carden said the result was particularly pleasing given the tough climatic conditions during the year, including extremely dry conditions over the summer in the south, and a very wet winter in the north.

The result had been helped by an upswing for prices for core dairy and livestock businesses, and the continued delivery of Pamu’s strategy to move into products which attracted a premium, he said.

The focus over the upcoming year would be on improving the resilience and performance of its core farming business, ongoing expansion of its forestry portfolio and development of partnership opportunities to expand its production of plants for specialty foods and fibres.

Pamu expected its focus on alternative dairy foods — produced from organic milk, sheep milk, deer milk and plant milks — would become a greater contributor  to its business over time.

It was particularly pleasing to see core premiums from milk increase by more than $1 million on last year, due in part to the company’s focus on organic, grass-fed and winter-milk dairy programmes.

"It’s hard work but we’re starting to see the results coming through," Mr Carden said.

Pamu recently launched Pamu deer milk, which won a Grass Roots Innovation Award at the annual National Fieldays at Mystery Creek and  was receiving positive reviews from the food trade, he said.

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