Scales Corp profit beats prospectus

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 10:57 29/08/2014

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Newly listed agribusiness Scales Corporation has posted a first-half profit after tax of $20.6 million.

Its June prospectus said the full-year profit would be $18.5m after tax.

It said the 2014 forecast was lower than last year's $20.4m after-tax profit.

Scales owns the country's largest apple-growing and export operation, Mr Apple, and runs cool stores and logistics operations and a pet food ingredients manufacturer.

Its shares listed on the NZX last month.

Scales chairman Jon Mayson said the first-half results for 2014 were in line with expectations.

"We have hit our targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result," he said.

Scales shares closed yesterday at $1.53, 7 cents below the $1.60 issue price. There were no trades early today.

The seasonal nature of Scales' business and inventory valuations meant its first-half profit before tax tended to be higher than the full-year result.

Net profit, excluding discontinued operations, was $28.9m, compared with $33.7m in the first half of 2013.

The reduction was because of lower apple prices and the cost of listing on the NZX.

For the year to December 31, 2014, the net profit was expected to be $22.5m.

A highlight of the half-year to June was the increase in revenue in all divisions, with Mr Apple enjoying apple volumes 7 per cent above forecast.

Better operating cashflows enabled Scales to halve its forecast net working capital facility to $11.6m.

Scales' prospectus forecast a tax-paid dividend of 9.4c to 9.6c a share for the December 2014 year.

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