7 Oct 2011

Landcorp delivers record dividend to Crown

2:01 pm on 7 October 2011

The Government's coffers will be more than $27 million better off as a result of state owned farming enterprise Landcorp quadrupling its earnings.

Significantly higher income from all its farm products gave Landcorp Farming a net operating profit of more than $42 million before tax for the year ending in June.

From that, it will pay its sole share-holder, the Crown, a record dividend of $27.5 million.

Landcorp chief executive Chris Kelly says the result was achieved despite a poor start to the year, with winter and spring storms followed by dry conditions in the North Island reducing stock numbers.

The country's biggest farmer boosted milk and sheepmeat revenue by more than a third, including a 40% increase in lamb prices.

Income from beef rose by 28% and Landcorp also increased wool, venison and forestry revenue.

Mr Kelly says it's building on that by increasing the focus on its lamb and dairy operations this year and will use recently-purchased land in the Manawatu for finishing lambs.

For the current financial year, it is forecasting a net operating profit before tax of about $16 million.