[5 April/Farmers Weekly]

Silver Fern Farms CEO, Rob Hewett, said it achieved a profit turnaround but the business remained a work in progress. There will be a dividend payout for co-op shareholders and a throughput reward for throughput shareholders. They had abnormal one off charges of $10.2 million largely due to the closure of the Fairton plant in Ashburton. Annual sales were $2.2 billion which was the same as 2016. Product was moving quickly in the lamb and mutton markets and prices were high with good margins. Their main concerns were with the overseas perceptions of the Mycoplasma bovis disease. The main dividend paid on April 27 will be fully imputed at 2.8c per share. Mr Hewett added that about 60 percent of the livestock processed by Silver Fern Farms was supplied by its co-op shareholders. A major trading focus was the branded retail offering in Germany being repositioned to improve performance.