22 Mar 2017

Dairy giant reports stronger half-year result

9:58 am on 22 March 2017

The dairy co-operative Fonterra has reported a slightly stronger half year profit as it puts more milk volumes into higher value products.

Fonterra milk truck

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Its net profit rose 2.2 percent to $418 million in the half year ended January when compared with the previous period.

Revenue climbed 4.6 percent to $9.2 billion.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said its strategy of moving more volume to higher value products was working and the half-year result was strong.

"Our ingredients business maintained good margins... we made the most of our manufacturing capacity, and the flexibility it provides to match production to demand and secure the best returns for our farmers' milk," he said.

Fonterra has again confirmed a forecast payout to its farmers of $6 a kilo of milk solids for the current season, but has revised down earnings on top of that slightly to a range of 45 to 55 cents.

The chair John Wilson said it remained confident in its forecast.

"The fundamentals of dairy are strong but there will be ongoing volatility in our global markets... our strategy to grow volume and value will continue to underpin our performance in the second half of the financial year," he said.

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