Strong livestock and wool prices combined with a buoyant water supplies business were the main contributors to an increase in full-year profit for Ruralco Holdings Limited.

The agribusiness company reported a 33 per cent increase in net profit after tax of $14.1 million for 2014-15 compared with the previous year. Sales revenue increased 18 per cent over the past year to $1.6 billion.

Release of the full-year results to September 30 come a day after Ruralco appointed Travis Dillon as chief executive officer and managing director of the agribusiness. Mr Dillon had been acting in the CEO role since the sudden departure of John Maher on May 4. He said the results reflected the quality and diversity of the company’s business.

“The increased contribution from Ruralco’s water activities reflects the full-year contribution from Total Eden and strong demand for water broking services,” he said. “Our live export business continues to increase capacity with growth in exports to Vietnam mitigating the impact of reduced Indonesian permit allocations for feeder cattle.” The company said it shipped 132,000 sheep and cattle overseas during the year.

The Total Eden water business contributed $8.9 million to profits, while the livestock agency business accounted for $3.6 million.

Ruralco declared $4.2 million in bad debts, which included its exposure to the collapse of Carpenter International, a West Australian company exporting cattle to China.


The above story was first written and published by PETER HEMPHILL of  The Weekly Times

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