Friday, April 12, 2024

Cyclones blast Pāmu profits

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Half-year results hit by dairy and lamb slump as well as weather.
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Low product prices and ongoing costs dealing with last summer’s cyclones have hit Pāmu Farms’ half-year result hard.

The state-owned farmer has reported a $3 million half-year net operating profit to December 31, well back on the $15m reported for the comparable period a year earlier.

“Challenges posed by a sharp reversal in global dairy prices, plummeting lamb prices and adverse weather events have impacted our profitability,” chief executive Mark Leslie said.

“Sustained damage from last summer’s cyclones continues to impact our bottom line as we reinstate infrastructure and work to re-grass lost pasture, repair or replace damaged fences, clear slips, and maintain farm tracks.”

Leslie said Pāmu is forecasting an improved full-year net operating profit of between $9m and $19m compared to an original forecast of between $1m and $10m. 

“The change to forecast is largely a result of the positive uplift in the global dairy trade index and gains from our wider forestry business,” Leslie said.

“It assumes that there will be no further deterioration in the exchange rate and that livestock prices hold through the season.”

Health and safety and wellbeing remain a focus for Pāmu.

“We achieved an important milestone in December with the last of our company quad bikes leaving farms.

“This was achieved in the same month as media reports of several fatalities involving quads, highlighting the risk of using these vehicles for farm tasks and corroborating our decision to exit them from the business.”

At its peak Pāmu owned 440 quadbikes nationwide.

Leslie said during the period under review, Pāmu has progressed its organisational strategy.

“We continue to adjust our practices to increase profitability and efficiency while seeking to ensure our farming activities contribute positively to ecosystems and communities,” Leslie said. 

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