Silver Fern Farms reports $24m loss, says it’s due to low demand

Silver Fern Farms Limited has posted a $24.4 million loss after tax for the 2023 financial year, that compares to a record profit in the 2022 year of $189.3 million.

The loss means no dividend will be paid.

Revenue was $2.7 million down from $3.2 million.

Company chief executive Dan Boulton said challenging market conditions were experienced across the course of last year and were expected to persist well into the current year.

“Weakened market sentiment has been compounded by increased supply dynamics out of the likes of Australia and South America. This has added more volume to already high in-market inventory levels, and put downward pressure on pricing.

“While we are expecting a recovery in beef pricing in the shorter term due to increased demand out of the US, we are expecting that sheepmeats will take longer to recover.”

Boulton said venison returns have been less impacted overall, thanks in part to increased investment in new market opportunities over the last few years.

Due to the loss the Silver Fern Farms had adjusted the pace of its planned investment and focused on reducing operating costs.

“We’ve made some difficult but necessary calls to slow the speed of our planned investment, and in particular, our technology and transformation investment, some technology programmes that were in progress will be finished, however the timing of some larger projects has been deferred until our spending envelope increases.

“There has also been an ongoing focus on cost management and optimising our day-to-day operations. Non-critical spend and investment have been deferred, and the business is focused on prioritising the core aspects of the business, from operations, through our supply chain, and into market.”

Boulton said despite the broader challenges being experienced in the market, the business remained committed to its market-led strategy.

“We continue to see evidence of our recent focus and investment playing out, and we haven’t lost confidence in our longer-term direction of travel. While it’s still a growing proportion of our business, we’ve seen that where we have invested in our brand, we have been able to retain value relative to decreasing commodity pricing.

“At a time when markets are generally depressed, we are nevertheless seeing more higher value customers and consumers connect with the Silver Fern Farms’ brand and the product our farmers are producing.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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