28 Feb 2013

PGG Wrightson confident of beating last year's earnings

7:17 am on 28 February 2013

PGG Wrightson is confident it will beat last year's full year earnings, though that's dependent on Australia and stock values.

The rural services company will pay its first dividend in nearly four years after its profit rose by more than half to $4.8 million in the six months to December compared with the same period a year ago.

PGG Wrightson made $55 million in gross earnings last year and analysts are picking it'll make about $62 million this year.

Chief executive George Gould said the company traditionally performs better in the second half of the year, but factors outside its control may derail that.

He says livestock and seeds in particular usually perform better in the second half of the year.

"Good autumn planting conditions are needed for the seed business to have a good second half and while the New Zealand climate is generally quite reliable in Australia ... we are dependant on the autumn rains arriving at the right time, in the right places, in order to ensure strong market demand for seed."

Mr Gould said the livestock is dependent on commodity prices and the volume of stock traders in the market.

He said that depends on summer/autumn pasture growth and the balancing act on farms to maintain enough animals to utilise pasture but not so many as to run short of feed.

The company's shares rose 2 cents to 43 cents each.