Australia's Costa Group annual profit doubles
(Adds CEO comment, other performance metrics, outlook)
Aug 24 (Reuters) - Costa Group Holdings Ltd,
Australia's biggest horticultural firm, reported a doubling in
full-year attributable profit, helped by strong performance in
its produce and international segments and one-off items.
Full-year profit attributable rose 99.5 percent to A$115.2
million ($84.28 million) from A$57.7 million last year. The net
profit included an A$48.3 million gain from consolidation of a
49 percent interest in a Moroccan joint venture, African Blue.
Strong performance from its citrus, mushrooms and tomato
categories helped outweigh a lower than expected contribution
from African Blue because of prolonged cold weather, causing a
delay in maturity of the crop, Chief Executive Harry Debney
Australia's top grower and marketer of fruit and vegetables
said net profit excluding one-offs rose to A$76.7 million from
A$60.7 million, while full-year revenue climbed 10 percent to
A$1.00 billion from A$909.1 million in fiscal 2017.
For the current year, the company said it expected to
generate low double-digit net profit growth after tax in the
year ahead to June 30, 2019.
The firm announced a final dividend of 7.0 Australian cents
per share, the same as a year ago.
Costa also said its board approved the construction of 10
hectares (25 acres) of additional produce capability at its
Guyra facility in New South Wales for A$67 million. That would
expand its nursery capacity and enhance its capability for
produce packing, and is expected to start production in May
2020, the company said.
($1 = 1.3669 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)
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