For the year ended 30 September 2014, Astral reported that its poultry division posted operating profit of 104.4 million rand, compared to a loss of 112.5 million rand in 2013, while its feed division’s operating profit grew by seven per cent to 353.9 million rand.
“The increase in headline earnings from 165 million rand for the previous year, to 329.7 million rand for the 2014 financial year, is attributable to the continuation of the turnaround to profitability of the poultry division which started in the second half of the previous financial year,” said the South African based poultry producer [DATA ARL:Astral Foods LTD.] in a statement.
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Total revenue grew by 13 per cent to 9.6 billion rand, with a 16 per cent contribution from its poultry division at seven billion rand due to higher volumes and selling prices.
Astral’s feed division posted a 12 per cent increase in revenue to 5.5 billion rand with sales volumes hiking up by five per cent. Total volumes were up year-on-year to 1.27 million tonnes per annum.
Profit before tax was 63 per cent higher than the previous year’s 288 million rand at 470 million rand. The group’s board declared a final dividend of 240 cents per share.
In Astral’s Africa division, revenue increased by 13 per cent to 499 million rand as volumes grew by four per cent due to the expansion in capacity at its boiler breeder and hatchery operations in Zambia and Mozambique.
Operating profit fell by 23 per cent to 35 million rand as the group’s Tiger Animal Feed operation in Zambia was impacted by the mismanagement of raw materials.
Astral said that the anti-dumping duties against poultry imports from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany that have been imposed until the 2 January 2015 should be made permanent by South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry in order to stem the tide of dumped poultry products into South Africa.
The group added that the country’s recent maize harvest produced a record number. Combining this with healthy global maize and soya crops, grain prices will soften and have a positive impact on feed prices and livestock production costs.
“Astral has engaged in an expansion drive over the past year, with sizeable investments in various value enhancing projects. The ‘bedding down’ of these investments and achieving the projected returns will be a key focus area in the new financial year,” said the group.