10 Oct 2014

Farmlands produces $23m surplus

2:01 pm on 10 October 2014

Rural supply and services co-operative Farmlands has produced an operating surplus of $23.5 million in its first full year of trading as a nation-wide operation.

That comes from a turnover of almost $2.5 billion a 13 percent increase on the previous year.

The co-op is paying three quarters of its operating surplus of more $17.5 million as a record bonus rebate to its shareholders, who range from farmers to orchardists, winegrowers and salmon farmers.

Chief executive Brent Esler said it was a good year for all parts of the business.

"It was obviously a very good year in agriculture generally, and while we were going through a significant change following our merger, we didn't lose momentum."

He said the company gained market share and a net gain of 2200 shareholders taking membership to over 58000 members.

Farmlands became a national business, with more than 80 stores across the country when it merged with CRT - Combined Rural Traders - in March last year, making it the biggest rural supply company.

It also acquired the animal nutrition brand NRM, Northern Roller Mills, during the past year.