As a result, the farmers’ co-operative will not be paying a rebate to its shareholders this year.
“It wasn’t quite a perfect storm but it has been very much an atypical year for us. This unacceptable result has already prompted decisive action,” Ravensdown chairman Bill McLeod said.
“We have initiated a wide-ranging strategic review with the aim of freeing up capital, reducing risk, improving operating profit and lowering our debt position. As previously announced, we are selling our stake in the South Australian joint venture Direct Farm Inputs and exiting the loss-making Western Australia business.”
Chief executive Greg Campbell said “The suspension of eco-n, a product used to limit nitrate leaching and greenhouse gases, had an effect on the results. Losing the profit from eco-n and the cost of stock disposal had an impact of $4m,” Campbell said.
When factoring out the Australian businesses that are being sold, the profit before tax for continuing operations was $29m.
Net debt requirements were down $98m and positive cash flow from operations was up to $161m this year.
“Our debt position is improving so we can reinvest in our fixed assets, infrastructure and customer service initiatives,” McLeod said.
“It is extremely disappointing to not be paying a rebate in this difficult year, however, we are strongly positioned to keep fertiliser prices competitive, contain costs and to continue investment in nutrient science, research, technology and training into the future.”