Synlait doubles profit but set to lower milk payout

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Synlait has a new website and branding.
Synlait has a new website and branding.
Synlait Milk held its annual meeting of shareholders this week, as the New Zealand company revealed near doubling of profit in the company’s tenth year of operations.

However, it also said its forecast in-market milk price will need to be lowered.

Synlait chairman Graeme Milne said, “The in-market milk price forecast for FY19 at NZ$6.75 kgMS (US$4.59) is looking less likely given current market conditions. Therefore, our next update scheduled for the end of January 2019 will most likely be lower.”

Future plans

Synlait also set out its plans for the next 10 years with the launch of a new corporate brand identity and purpose statement.

Synlait’s result for the year ending 31 July 2018 (FY18) was a net after tax profit (NPAT) of NZ$74.6m (US$50.7m), compared to the NPAT of NZ$39.5m (US$26.8m) for the same period last year.

Milne said an increase in finished infant formula sales helped drive the FY18 profit.

“This was enabled by a number of investments in the blending and consumer packaging space including our second Dunsandel wetmix kitchen and our Auckland blending and consumer packaging facility,”​ Milne said.

“Both these projects have allowed us to increase our finished infant formula capacity, which has helped us to deepen and strengthen the relationships we have with our existing infant formula customers.”

Leon Clement, Synlait’s new CEO, spoke about the company’s recent expansion in the everyday dairy category.

“The build of our Advanced Liquid Dairy facility is on track, and we’re excited to start our partnership with Foodstuffs South Island next April. That leap into the Everyday Dairy space is complemented by our move into cheese with the conditional agreement to acquire selected Talbot Forest Cheese assets,”​ Clement said.

“The proposed acquisition builds on our existing portfolio of high-quality, flexible dairy manufacturing capabilities that can be tailored to meet customer needs.”

New brand identity

Synlait also launched its new purpose and brand identity at the meeting.

Clement said the statement which best fits is “Doing milk differently for a healthier world.”

"Doing milk differently is in our DNA. We have always brought an innovative and disruptive attitude to our industry and we’ll continue to do that into the future. For a healthier world is about looking after the planet, looking after our people and our communities, and continuing to serve life-enhancing milk nutrition,”​ he said.

“We have some clear goals around our strength in being a catalyst for change. And we want to create more value for New Zealand. We take our responsibility seriously and we will lead change in our industry.”

Synlait also updated its logo and brand color, and passed other resolutions, including re-electing Milne and John Penno as directors, and that the annual fee for directors would be set at NZ$85,000 (US$58,000), and NZ$97,000 (US$66,000) for the two committee chairs, while the chairman of the board will receive NZ$169,000 (US$115,000).

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