The West

Another loss for Goodman Fielder
Another loss for Goodman Fielder

UPDATE 2.45pm Food supplier Goodman Fielder says the 2012/13 financial year will require some more “heavy lifting” after the company booked another full year loss, albeit an improved one.

Goodman Fielder makes bread, spreads and supplies edible fats and oils to other manufacturers.
Its brands include White Wings, Meadow Lea, Praise and Helga’s.

Goodman Fielder today posted a net loss of $146.9 million for the year to June 30, but the result was a 12 per cent improvement on the prior year’s loss of $166.7 million.

The bottom line was affected by $267.2 million in previously-announced pre-tax charges related to a major company restructure, including impairments and writedowns on Goodman Fielder’s Australian and New Zealand baking business and NZ home ingredients arm.

Normalised profit, which takes out one-off financial items, was $96.5 million in the year to June, down 29 per cent on $135.2 million in the previous year.

Shares in Goodman Fielder closed up four cents higher at 53 cents.

Goodman Fielder chief executive Chris Delaney said the company had made a lot of progress in 2012 - the first year of a multi-year rejuvenation program - but was not providing specific guidance for 2013 at this point.

"What I will say is we believe we will continue to make progress on the strategic plan,” Mr Delaney told reporters.

"I think fiscal 2013 is going to have its challenges as well. I think we have more heavy lifting ahead of us, so I would not think we have room to rest."

Mr Delaney said trading conditions in Australia and New Zealand had affected the company’s underlying performance and remained challenging.

Consumer confidence in Australia and New Zealand remained subdued.
Goodman Fielder chief financial officer Shane Gannon said that in 2013 there would be more restructuring costs associated with plant closures and businesses under review, including redundancies.

Mr Gannon also said there was potential for more asset writedowns.

Mr Delaney said progress in restructuring Goodman Fielder had been strong, and the restructure - Project Renaissance - was on track to achieve $100 million in annual savings by the 2014/15 financial year.

Goodman Fielder also said that its program to sell non-core assets was on track, and the company was in the final stages of securing a sale of commercial oils business Integro.

The company was in talks with several parties over the sale of Goodman Fielder’s New Zealand milling business.

Mr Delaney said that in 2012, Goodman Fielder had stabilised its earnings by cutting costs, reduced net debt by 24 per cent, progressed the sale of non-core assets and developed a strategic plan.
Revenue for the year fell 1.7 per cent to $2.5 billion.

Margins fell in the Australian and New Zealand markets as input costs rose and were not recovered from retailers.

Revenue in the company’s biggest division, baking, fell 4.3 per cent to $979 million on the back of lower prices for supermarket private-label bread and the resulting negative price pressure on proprietary branded bread.

The West Australian

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