14 Aug 2013

Big turnaround reported by Goodman Fielder

1:25 pm on 14 August 2013

Goodman Fielder has reported a net profit of more than $A102.5 million after a loss of almost $A147 million last year.

The trans-Tasman food company, whose brands include Meadowlea, Vogels and Edmonds, made an operating profit of $A200 million.

The figure is at the top of the company's guidance range announced in June which was an effective profit downgrade.

Goodman Fielder said it had a stronger second-half following an improvement in its baking and grocery divisions and a continued strong performance from its New Zealand dairy business, but this was partially offset by lower earnings in its Fiji Poultry business.

AAP reports the company resumed dividends with a final payment of 3.00 Australian cents per share payable on 1 November.

Net debt fell by 40% to $A434.5 million in the latest year.

Goodman still faces tough markets and rising costs, saying retail trading conditions, particularly in Australia and New Zealand "remains challenging with continuing pressure on product volumes and pricing".

Baking, Goodman's largest division by sales,recorded a 3% drop in sales to $A897.8 million. Grocery sales fell 7% to $A502.8 million.