AWB delivers strong $52.4 million profit for first six months
AWB today announced a 25% increase in net profit after tax to $52.4 million for the six months to 31 March 2001.
Earnings per share for the first six months increased 29% to 22 cents.
AWB Limited’s Chief Executive, Andrew Lindberg, said the excellent half-year result represented good news prior to the company’s listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in August this year.
“The half-year result puts the company on target to deliver a 12% return on shareholder’s equity for the full year ending 30 September 2001,” Mr Lindberg said.
The AWB’s Directors have declared a 14 cent, fully franked, dividend for the six months ended 31 March 2001, which will be distributed to shareholders on 4 July 2001 for shareholders registered as at 8 June 2001.
“The Directors have decided that the interim dividend will generally be larger than the final dividend to reflect the fact that a majority of AWB’s profits are earned in the first half of AWB’s financial year,” Mr Lindberg said.
“It is the Directors’ current intention that the overall dividend for this year will be broadly comparable with the full year dividend of 22 cents per share that was paid last year,” Mr Lindberg said.
“The result is a strong indicator of AWB’s readiness for listing, its investment value, and the fact that its growth strategies aimed at extending its position as a leading global grains manager are clearly working,” said Mr Lindberg.
“Listing on the ASX is the next major step in that strategy and will deliver significant benefits, particularly through the provision of additional equity to fund growth,” said Mr Lindberg.
The profit contributors for the half-year result were financial and risk management products to growers, including financing and underwriting; grain acquisition and trading; chartering; and pool management services.
“The strong result is a true indicator of the support of growers who took advantage of finance and risk management products leading up to the harvest,” said Mr Lindberg.
“It is our growers, who are also our shareholders, who will continue to benefit from our expanding range of grower products combined with a commercial return on their investment in AWB Limited.
“Our current shareholders recently received a letter from the AWB Chairman informing them that the AWB Directors do not intend to accept Graincorp’s offer to buy up to 10% of AWB’s B class shares at $2.60 per share in respect of their own individual shareholdings,” Mr Lindberg said.
“In that letter, the Directors suggested that any decision by shareholders to sell their shares to Graincorp had to be balanced against the potential sale proceeds that could be achieved once AWB is listed.”
“Shareholders are therefore advised to seek their own advice as to the fairness of Graincorp’s offer and whether or not they should accept the offer.”
For more information contact:
Paul Ryan, Public Affairs, AWB Limited on (03) 9209 2098 or 0408 347 282