Elders widens full-year loss

Agribusiness warns future results will depend on local farm sector, rainfall, and commodity prices; declines to pay dividend.

Elders (ELD) says its future financial results will be highly dependent on the prospects of the Australian and New Zealand farm sector, adding it is not possible to forecast drivers of its performance such as rainfall and commodity prices with accuracy, after widening its full-year loss.

In the year to September 30, Elders posted a net loss after tax of $505.3 million, compared with a $60.6 million loss in the previous corresponding period. 

Revenue from continuing operations was down 9% to $1.71 billion in the full year, compared with $1.87 billion in the prior year.

In fiscal 2012, Elders reported revenue from continuing operations of $2.23 billion. 

Elders did not pay a final dividend. 

The agribusiness said its results were significantly affected by abnormally dry and hot weather conditions, substantially reduced livestock prices and reduced international livestock trade.

Elders anticipates that a return to more normal seasonal conditions will drive improvement in demand for farm supplies and lift prices for livestock.

"Elders also anticipates a return to more co-operative trading relationships with Indonesia and other importing countries will improve throughput and margins in trading," the group said.

The agribusiness said it has taken initiatives to reduce costs and enhance sales and margin.

Elders warned of a number of material business risks that could affect its financial performance, including seasonal weather conditions, biosecurity, Australian rural production, market risk, workforce capability and capital.