4 Mar 2010

Landcorp expects modest full-year profit

7:29 am on 4 March 2010

The government's farming business, Landcorp, says it expects to make a small full year profit, but trading will remain volatile for a while.

The company made a net profit of $20.6 million in the six months to December, largely due to revaluations of its livestock.

Once those adjustments are stripped out, it lost of $6.3 million.

In the same period the previous year, Landcorp lost $10.28 million.

The company's chief executive, Chris Kelly, says most dry stock farmers will struggle to make a profit this year, but the dairy business has helped to prop up the company.

Improved dairy prices drove up dairy operations' revenue by 16% , to $39 million, but weaker returns to meat producers pulled sheep, beef and deer livestock revenues down 19% to $34 million.

Mr Kelly says Landcorp expects to make a full year profit, will be helped by sales of properties and will pay a "reasonably substantial dividend" to its owner.