SYDNEY, AAP – Agribusiness Elders has posted a higher full-year profit and dividend, helped by the purchase of a group of farming shops.
The company on Monday declared net profit after tax was up 22 per cent to $149.8 million for the year to September 30.
The figures were helped by the first full financial year of ownership of Australian Independent Rural Retailers. The shops sell products such as animal feed and crop chemicals.
Sales of rural products improved by 24 per cent due to the AIRR purchase.
Elders’ property arm was boosted by soaring demand for farmland and residential property. Gross margin improved by 33 per cent.
Looking ahead, Elders said favourable seasonal conditions and high demand for agricultural commodities made for excellent trading conditions in the first-half of this financial year.
High prices for cattle and sheep are being helped by limited supply.
Prices in the property market were also expected to stay high, helped by low interest rates.
Elders said there were good opportunities for more acquisitions.
The final dividend was 22 cents per share, 20 per cent franked. This was more than the same payout last year of 13 cents per share, fully franked.
Company shares on the ASX were down 0.58 per cent to $12.03 at 1500 AEDT.
The shares traded for a high of $229.67 on June 29, 2007.