Waikato milk processor Tatua has topped the 2017-18 milk payout stakes.
Stephen Allen says the input of farmers, management and staff over the years has resulted in a record result; the co-op achieved record group revenue of $357 million, and earnings of $127 million.
Tatua’s final payout to farmer shareholders is $8.10/kgMS after retaining 52c/kgMS. The co-op again topped the payout table, ahead of other NZ processors.
Allen says topping the payout stakes among other processors isn’t on the minds of the co-op.
“We strive towards improving and getting better all the time; we have been quietly getting better over the years,” he told Rural News.
He singles out a new computer system implemented across the company as one of the major projects over the last financial year.
“To have such a major project successfully implemented in the background while we processed milk is a reflection of our staff; the project may sound mundane but it was quite a big deal for us.”
This season Tatua will focus on sustainability; both in the business and on farm with shareholders.
Tatua processed 14.7 million kgMS in 2017-18, lower than the previous year due to unfavourable farming conditions.
Allen says in deciding the payout, it sought balance between supporting shareholders and Tatua’s requirements for reinvesting in the future.
“Our gearing (debt divided by debt plus equity) at year end lifted slightly from 35% last year to 37%, but will normalise back to around 35% or less as we move further into the current season.
“We are optimistic in our outlook for dairy and the season ahead, but will also be keeping a healthy level of caution considering the emerging global trade situation that may affect us in some way.”