It has not been a cheery week for the Punter’s investments in agribusiness.
TasFoods (ASX code TFL), Abundant Produce (ABT), Murray Group Organics (MRG), Crop Logic (CLI), Australian Dairy Farms (AHF), and the Sea Farms Group (SFG) all announced losses.
The half year profit at Select Harvest (SHV) was almost halved, and the interim dividend was slashed from 10c to 5c a share.
However, the almond trade world-wide is looking a lot better than it did and the directors expect “significantly improved” performance in the second half.
That happy news saw the shares edge above $5, cementing SHV as the Punter’s largest investment.
Sea Farms, the Punter’s second largest holding, reported a 34 per cent drop in prawn production, thanks to a YH7 virus outbreak.
Loss for the half year doubled to nearly $10 million.
The good news was that the virus was dealt with, and the company is sticking to its full-year production forecast of 1,700 tonnes of barbi fodder.
SFG’s ambitious Sea Dragon project, which is expected eventually to produce up to 150,000 tonnes of prawns a year, appears to be well on track.
He is much less happy with ABT, where losses doubled to $1.1 million.
However, it is early days for the new sales and operations manager, Sarah Pearson, and very early days for the natural health creams and gels business.
So ABT stays for now.
So does Australian Dairy Farms, where the milk production side actually made a half-year profit, and the dairy processing side is being revamped and expanded.
TasFoods’ results were as poor as the company had warned earlier.
Full year net trading losses increased from $2.6m to $4.5m, and $2m had to be written off the value of the Wasabi business.
• The Punter has no financial qualifications and no links to the financial services industry. He owns shares in a number of companies featured in this column.