Australia's AACo Year Profit Falls 64 Percent

AUSTRALIA - Australian Agricultural Co, the world's biggest cattle company, said its year profit fell by 64 percent in 2007 due to losses on the sale of a property, but was upbeat on the year-ahead outlook.
calendar icon 7 February 2008
clock icon 1 minute read
AACo said its net profit after tax fell to A$3.6 million, ($3.2 million) from A$10.1 million the previous year, despite a rise in earnings before interest and tax to A$31 million from A$22 million in 2006.

"If the cattle price keeps going like it is and if grain prices weaken slightly then we're probably set for a pretty good year," said Stephen Toms, the company's chief financial officer, in a teleconference with media and analysts.

AACo, which has landholdings as big as Ireland with 1.2 percent of the entire land area of Australia, has been hit in recent years by Australia's worst drought in 100 years.

The company runs a herd of over 500,000 cattle on more than 20 properties across Queensland state and in the remote Northern Territory. AACo plans to double its herd size by 2015, the company said.

Late last year rural services conglomerate Futuris Corp (FCL.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) announced an intention to sell its 43 percent state in AACo, throwing the cattle company into play as a possible takeover target.

Source: Reuters
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