28 Nov 2008

Jump in profit for AFFCO

7:00 am on 28 November 2008

AFFCO Holdings has seen a jump in its annual profit due to the drought and a one-off gain from selling part of its stake in a cheese company.

The listed meat processor and exporter is reducing its dependence on the meat industry by pushing into dairy processing. AFFCO made $60.2 million in the year to September, compared to $1.2 million in the same period a year ago.

About a third of AFFCO's profit - $19.4 million - came from selling down its stake in Open Country Cheese to its subsidiary, Dairy Trust.

Revenue rose 15% to $1.1 billion as the drought forced farmers to send more livestock to its meatworks, while it also exported venison and mussels.

But chairman Sam Lewis says a shortage of livestock due to the drought is likely to have an effect on future earnings.