27 Feb 2018

PGG Wrightson H1 profit holds steady

11:16 am on 27 February 2018

Rural services firm PGG Wrightson has reported a flat first half year profit as it increased earnings in the face of wild swings in the weather.

PGG Wrightson

PGG Wrightson Photo: Facebook / PGG Wrightson

Its net profit for the six months year ended December was $14.6 million from $15 million a year ago.

The company's operating earnings rose 31 percent on a year ago with solid earnings from all its divisions.

Its seeds business benefited from the wetter spring, while the abrupt change from wet weather to hot and dry conditions increased demand for goods and sprays in the horticulture industries, which brought their harvest forward.

The livestock and agricultural retail businesses also performed well, while the wool division steadied as the market showed signs of stability and improvement for crossbred wools.

PGG Wrightson chief executive Ian Glasson called the result "very pleasing" given the changing weather and market conditions, which would set the company up for a strong full year report.

"We remain optimistic that the positive trading environment will continue through the second half of the year in New Zealand, but as always, across all markets."

The company has forecast operating earnings between $65m and $70m, just above last year, but said its net profit should be better than previously expected at somewhere around $37m from the year before's $46.3m, which was inflated by gains from property sales.

A review of the company's businesses, growth options, finances and shareholding structure is still underway and will be delivered later this year.

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