Australia’s leading grain marketer, AWB Limited, today announced a solid profit of $63.3m after tax for the 12 months to 30 September 2000.
AWB’s Chairman, Trevor Flügge, said the strong profit delivered a very respectable 10.1% return on shareholders’ equity for the period and confirms that AWB was operating successfully in its first full year as a public unlisted company.
“This equates to basic earnings per share of 26 cents and enables the company to pay a final fully franked dividend of 22 cents per share.
“The full year dividend amount of $53.1 million will be paid to shareholders on 15 December this year,” said Mr Flügge.
The 1999-2000 financial year has been an especially strong one for AWB both in terms of profitability as well as in terms of the development of longer-term initiatives to ensure the company’s continued growth.
Mr Flügge said AWB had achieved its strategic goals during 1999-2000 capitalising on existing domestic business and international markets and identifying new growth opportunities.
“AWB is fast becoming a world-class company in terms of servicing our growers and customers in an increasingly global marketplace,” said Mr Flügge.
Over the past year AWB has established a new organisational structure, developed new products and services, established new businesses, new customers and new ways to service them, as well as having a close eye on costs.
The Grower Services Division, which provides the competitive and contestable financing and underwriting product for the National Pool, as well as cash, multigrade and basis pool products, contributed 68 per cent to profit.
Over 20 per cent of the profit was generated by grain trading, offshore investments and interest earned by investing AWB Limited’s capital base in the operating divisions to fund working capital requirements.
AWB Limited charges an arms length pool service fee to the National Pool for commercial services provided by AWB Limited. These services include all administrative, human resources, marketing, risk management, funding and treasury. Ten per cent of AWB’s profit was derived from the pool service charge.
Mr Flügge said the positive full year result was a true indicator of the support of growers who took advantage of the suite of products and services on offer by AWB.
“It is growers, who are also our shareholders, who will continue to benefit from our expanding range of grower products and services combined with a commercial return on their investment in AWB,” said Mr Flügge.
“Revenue of $3.79 billion was generated through our international pooling activities conducted by AWB (International) Limited which is not consolidated into the AWB Limited accounts. AWB Limited’s revenue for the period was $1.76 billion, which is a sound basis on which to build.
“I am confident that our strategic direction and the management team we have in place means that we are well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead,” Mr Flügge said.
For further information contact Peter McBride, AWB Limited, Public Affairs
on 03 9209 2174 or 0417 662 451.