11 Nov 2011

Alliance profit hit by lamb losses in storms

5:45 pm on 11 November 2011

The heavy toll on lambs from last year's severe snowstorms has hit the profit line of Southland-based meat co-operative Alliance.

The company has reported an operating surplus of more than $20 million for the past financial year, from a turnover of $1.5 billion.

That's about $10 million below the previous year's surplus.

However, chairman Owen Poole says it is a satisfactory result, considering the challenges from severe weather during lambing last year that resulted in about 1.6 million fewer lambs for export.

He says Alliance was disproportionately affected because the worst-hit regions in the lower South Island and North Island are key sources of supply for the co-operative.

Mr Poole says record livestock prices have helped offset the financial losses from the storms for most farmers, and some farmers outside those regions have had an exceptional year.

Alliance will be distributing almost $11 million in pool payments to its farmer shareholders.