Aussie grain exporter sees full year profits slashed following drought


One of Australia's leading grain exporters, GrainCorp, announced a drop of 43.7 percent to full year profits on Thursday, citing an ongoing drought in the country's east.

For the annual period until September 30, revenue was down 232 million U.S. dollars, or 7 percent, from 3.3 billion U.S. dollars to 3.07 billion U.S. dollars, with oil and malt earnings actually rising to offset some of the drop in grain revenue.

Chief executive Mark Palmquist said in a statement that he is not expecting things to get better in the upcoming financial year.

"The 2019 financial year will be extremely challenging for GrainCorp with expectations of a substantially smaller (East Coast) crop due to the current drought," Palmquist said.

"In response to the constrained grain availability, the grains business is focusing on network rationalization, cost reduction and domestic trans shipments, i.e. grain imports from Western Australia and South Australia."

Total grain sales were down 1.4 million tonnes, or 16.9 per cent, to 6.9 million tonnes, with grains revenue dropping 275 million U.S. dollars to 1.62 billion U.S. dollars.

After falling sharply at the Aussie market open, GrainCorp shares recovered and at 11:00 (AEST), were up 0.040 points or 0.51 percent to 5.74 U.S. dollars per share.


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