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REL coffers boosted

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2014

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Farm-owning group Rural Equities says its annual operating profit has improved to $5 million from $2.11m in the previous year helped by record milk production on some of its dairy farms.

Rural Equities owns a diversified farm portfolio that includes 25 properties throughout New Zealand and has total assets of more than $220 million.

The group's total comprehensive income or bottom-line result for the June year was $24.02m, more than double the previous year's result of $10.92m. That included gains on farm revaluations.

The company's six dairy farms achieved record milk production of 1.67 million kilograms of milksolids.

The dairy farms include two Canterbury properties, Milford and Rocklea, which supply to Synlait Milk. The group has four farms in Southland, Taranaki and near Palmerston North that supply Fonterra.

Production gains were also achieved on the three Waikato sheep and beef properties directly managed by the group. The production, combined with stronger beef, lamb, and wool prices, helped towards the increased earnings. Sheep and beef prices were about 10 per cent stronger than what they were 12 months ago, Rural Equities executive chairman David Cushing said.

A June 30 revaluation of Rural Equities' properties and other assets saw an asset increase of $19.93m for the year, up from an increase of $7.19m in the previous year.

The group's rural property portfolio increased in value by 12.9 per cent.

The Canterbury property portfolio achieved a 17 per cent revaluation, and North Island pastoral properties recorded the largest revaluation growth for some time, Cushing said.

During the year REL also acquired a 12.7 per cent stake in Australian agricultural company Tandou Limited.

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