Goodman Fielder posts H1 loss

Group hit by high milk and wheat costs, impairment charges.

Goodman Fielder has swung to a sharp first-half loss as higher wheat and milk costs continued to bite, while impairment charges, customer service costs and manufacturing upgrade expenses also hurt.

For the six months to December 31, the group posted a net loss attributable to members of $64.8 million, representing a 227% fall from its $51 million profit in the first half of the 2013 financial year.

The result included a $97.3 million impairment charge against the goodwill, brand assets and tangible assets held for sale.

But normalised revenue from continuing operations – excluding the impact of asset sales and restructuring activity -- rose 5% in the half, to $1.13 billion, from $1.08 billion in the previous corresponding half.

Net profit after tax from continuing operations fell 9% to $30.1 million, from $33 million in the first half of 2013.

Goodman Fielder will pay an interim dividend of 1 cent per share on April 10, to shareholders on the record at March 11.