PRODUCER CO-OPERATIVE ANNOUNCES PROFIT
WA producer owned meat processing co-operative WAMMCO International has announced an audited profit of $1.77 million for the year ended 30 June 2004 compared to a breakeven result in the previous year.
The co-operative, which was formed when the State Government withdrew from statutory lamb marketing in 1999, has emerged strongly from a tough period in both the meat industry and early setbacks suffered its own formative years.
A shift in processing and marketing focus to heavier, higher quality lamb as part of a restructure is now paying dividends through WAMMCO's increased focus on the high value US market. More than half the co-operative's premium lamb product now goes to the US, although Europe still remains an important customer for the balance.
"I believe the worst is behind us and we can confidently look forward to a period of sustained strong growth" the co-operative's chairman Dawson Bradford said.
Earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by $1.653 million, or 77%, over the previous year to $3.797 million. "We believe this is a better indicator of the financial strength of the co-operative" Mr Bradford said.
The co-operative will spend $3.7 million in capital expenditure during the current year to improve efficiency at its Katanning meat processing plant.
The improved result was achieved despite a significant rise in the $A during the year and a period of tight livestock supply resulting in record prices being paid to producers for lamb.
The co-operative will not pay any rebates or dividends in respect to the 2003/04 year, and no tax will be payable, because of past losses.
Mr Bradford said the results for the beginning of the current year were better than the last and, with the continued support of our members, the co-operative was confident it would see continued improvement this year.
The annual general meeting will be held in Katanning on the 27 October 2004.