Goodman Fielder loss 'disappointing'

Bread and milk group Goodman Fielder has delivered a huge loss for the year to June ahead of its forthcoming takeover by Asian interests.

Goodman Fielder produces a range of well-known food brands, including Nature's Fresh bread, Edmonds baking products and Meadow Fresh milk.

The bottom line was a loss of A$405.1 million ($446 million) after writing off A$358m from the value of its baking and grocery businesses in New Zealand and Australia.

Revenue eased 1 per cent to A$2.2 billion.

Chief executive Chris Delaney said while the company had made progress in some areas of the business, higher commodity and logistics costs had affected the result.

"This is a disappointing result in the context of where the company had expected to be at this point in the strategic plan," he said.

The New Zealand dairy business had been particularly hit by the record high farm-gate milk price, causing "significant input cost pressures which we were unable to fully recover through pricing," Delaney said.

Other one-off costs included losses of A$96.5m on the sale of biscuits, meat and pizza businesses during the year. Restructuring also cost the company A$38m.

Goodman Fielder's board has agreed to support a takeover by palm oil trader Wilmar International and investment company First Pacific at a price of A67.5c a share, valuing the food group at A$1.96b.

An independent report on the deal is due to be sent to shareholders in October, with a vote to be held in November.

Current shareholders will receive a final dividend of A1 cent a share, adding to an interim dividend also of A1c.

Stuff