Elders cattle farm

Elders announces return to pure agribusiness

Elders Limited (Elders) has released its full year results, announcing that it is has completed its goal of becoming a pure-play agribusiness.
Elders managing director, Malcolm Jackman, said the 2013 year marks the near completion of a five year process of rationalisation and restructuring in order to refocus Elders on its core strength and historical purpose – rural services.

“Without trying to diminish the impact on statutory profit or overlook the costs to many of the stakeholders involved, we are relieved to have finally reached this long sought after objective. Elders can finally focus all of its management and staff attention on operating our core business and serving our rural and regional customers.”

“With the completed divestment of Futuris Automotive, the near-completion of the forestry wind-up program, and continued support from our financiers, Elders is again a pure-play agribusiness.

“As a result of these divestments and other initiatives, Elders has achieved substantial reduction in both core bank debt and gross debt, recording the company’s fifth consecutive year of reduced debt.”

One-off impairments totalling $(442.2) million, which included the de-recognition of tax assets along with other non-recurring items associated with divestments and restructuring, significantly impacted Elders statutory profit, with a recorded statutory loss of $(505.2) million for the 12 months to 30 September 2013.

“Given the seasonal conditions, the downturn in sales and margin generated within the Rural Services business during 2013 appears consistent with industry experience,” Mr Jackman said.

The restructure of operations announced in September this year, which has been implemented, is expected to improve sales and earnings capability and client focus of the Elders Network.

Mr Jackman said Elders was continuing discussions with a number of parties that have expressed interest in re-capitalising the company on the basis of its sole focus, brand and network strength as a pure-play agribusiness.