Agribusiness Elders has paid shareholders a dividend for the first time since 2008 as the company more than doubled its reported net profit for fiscal 2017.
Elders’ net profit for the year ended September 30 jumped 125 per cent to $116 million as the company boosted its profits across its product range, made strategic acquisitions and benefited from the reversal of a non-cash impairment on the Elders brand name.
The company’s underlying profit lifted by $16.5 million, or 40 per cent, to $57.7 million.
The company paid a final dividend of 7.5¢ per share plus a special dividend, also at 7.5¢ per share.
Elders’ chief executive Mark Allison said the profit results and dividends reflected good progress under the company’s improvement program which has been running for three years.
“It is pleasing that we have been able to declare a final and special dividend, which are Elders’ first shareholder dividends since 2008,” Mr Allison said in a statement on Monday.
Mr Allison said normal summer cropping conditions and geographical expansion, including the acquisition of NSW-based horticultural business Ace Ohlsson, had boosted Elders’ retail business.
Cattle and sheep prices were strong, which helped boost margins for the agency services business.
High livestock prices and low interest rates generated more demand for large cattle-farming and broadacre cropping properties, which lifted Elders’ real estate business.
The purchase of a stake in the StockCo livestock financing business and an extra 10 per stake in Elders Insurance boosted margins for Elders’ financial services operations.
Elders’ feed and processing services increased profits through greater use of the Killara Feedlot and better paddock procurement strategies.
Shares in Elders closed up 41¢, or 7.9 per cent, to $5.60.
ELDERS LIFTS PROFIT, REWARDS SHAREHOLDERS
- Full-year profit up 125pc to $116m
- Revenue from continuing operations up 6pc to $1.6b
- Final dividend of 7.5¢ per share plus a special dividend, also at 7.5¢ per share, first since 2008.