13 Aug 2014

PGG Wrightson aims to grow dairy business

7:39 am on 13 August 2014

The country's biggest rural servicing company PGG Wrightson has said it is aiming to grow its dairy business, despite the current downturn in that sector.

The company has announced a 28 percent uplift in operating profit for the past year, and lifted its net profit by almost $25 million to more than $58 million.

PGW chief executive Mark Dewdney said the prospects for its core farming, horticulture and viticulture related businesses were still looking good for the year ahead.

He said the company was taking a positive approach to dairying as well, despite falling prices and the recent big drop in Fonterra's forecast milk payout.

"Inevitably that will impact on dairy farmers' spend, but while dairy is a key part of our growth strategy, it's still a relatively small part of our existing business, so we hope that we can get some market share gains that will off-set some of the weakness in the sector."

Mr Dewdney said PGG Wrightson will also be putting more emphasis on its water services business, tapping into the growing number of irrigation schemes around the country.