3 Oct 2013

Drought blamed for investment drop

11:37 am on 3 October 2013

The New Plymouth council's investment company is blaming drought for a $10.3 million loss on the Tasmanian farms it owns.

The council's Perpetual Investment Fund now stands at $212 million, down $15 million from last year after a $9 million payout to the council is taken into account.

Fund chairman Keith Sutton says the annual loss is due to its major asset Tasman Farms, the parent company to Van Diemen's Land Company, underperforming.

He says income was struck by a second year of low payouts in the Australian dairy industry and lower confidence forced a write down in the value of stock.

The fund, originally set up after the council sold its stake in Powerco, has become a political hot potato in the local body elections, with critics saying the council should get rid of the farms.