Agribusiness

CBH reports record $247m surplus, harvest intake of 13.2Mt

Grain Central, January 16, 2018

WESTERN Australia’s CBH Group has reported a record surplus before rebates of $247.6 million for the year ending 30 September 2017, and a grain intake of 13.2 million tonnes (Mt) in the 2017/18 harvest which is now in its final days.

CBH Group’s Chadwick site near Esperance.

This intake is down from record 2016/17 receivals of 16.6Mt, a key driver of the financial results for the period, which were up 120 per cent on the comparable 2015/16 figure.

CBH chief executive officer, Jimmy Wilson, said CBH’s record 2016/17 surplus was driven by the volume of grain received, and a disciplined approach to cost and capital management.

“Our operations and marketing and trading divisions, as well as our investments, performed well, with each returning a rebate to growers in the face of an international grain environment that continues to provide challenges,” Mr Wilson said.

Operations reported a surplus before rebates of $197.6m, while Marketing and Trading reported a $58.3m surplus before rebates.

“In the past four years, Western Australian growers have delivered above average crops, with crop production growing faster than initially modelled in certain areas.

“While managing such a large amount of grain can create challenges, CBH has responded by building additional storage and catering for unexpected events such as flooding and frost.”

Investments perform

Mr Wilson said CBH’s marketing and trading arms continued to maintain market share, despite intense competition from the Black Sea region that resulted in high global grain stocks and historically low prices.

“Grain processing investments recorded an improvement in profitability, with our oats processing business Blue Lake Milling performing strongly, and profits from our Interflour flour milling joint venture reinvested for growth projects including the US$70m Intermalt facility in Vietnam.”

CBH returned a record rebate of $156.3m, or up to $12.75 per tonne, to its grower members in 2016/17, up 150pc on the 2015/16 figure.

The company’s Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) was $91.3m, up 83pc on the previous year, and revenue increased 6.3pc to $3.8 billion including pool revenue.

In 2016/17, CBH invested $97.3m in capital and maintenance works across its storage and handling network.

“Above all, the safety of our people is paramount, which is why we’re pleased with the substantial improvement in our safety performance, with a 49pc reduction in our All Injury Frequency Rate, well under target at 11 at the end of the year.”

CBH is Australia’s largest co-operative, WA’s leading bulk handler and grain port operator with limited competition, and Australia’s largest grain exporter with a market share of 25pc of national shipments.

Source: CBH Group

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