OPINION: Rural NZ is again getting the rough end of the stick when it comes to services - this time in relation to Covid-19 vaccinations.
Additionally, they reported a net profit after tax of $65.4 million for their investment Silver Fern Farms Limited for the same period.
Silver Fern Farms Co-operative chairman Richard Young said the result achieved by both is a strong result built off the skill and expertise of its people who navigated the company through a period of uncertainty.
“The performance of the operating company in 2020 was truly commendable across a range of areas. Most important was how they put the health and welfare of their people first,” Young said.
He added that in doing so, the company had set a platform of trust and commitment from staff to stand up as essential workers to service regional communities and global consumers.
“Silver Fern Farms Limited’s result for 2020 follows closely behind their previous year’s performance which was the strongest financial result in the past decade. It is a special achievement given the wide range of constraints the company was under throughout the year.
Young said that at balance date, 31 December 2020, the co-operative remained debt free and had cash on hand of $22.3 million.
“We are pleased to be in a strong financial position where we are able to continue to provide returns to our shareholders.”
The Co-operative also declared a distribution of $8.1 million in dividends and patronage reward, the fourth consecutive year of distributions.
Eligible shareholders, on the record date of 16 April 2021, will receive a dividend of 5.5 cents per share.
Meanwhile, Silver Fern Farms Limited’s chief executive Simon Limmer said the company’s financial performance showed the company’s growing resilience and sustainability of returns.
“We have never gone this long without meeting face to face with out global customers and shareholders, and that possibility is still some time away.
“Despite all that disruption, we have witnessed character and resilience throughout our Silver Fern Farms community, from on-farm right through to our partners in market. The way we worked as a team, continuously finding solutions and looking out for each other was key to our performance in 2020.”
Limmer said the result was ‘pleasing’ in the context of the disruption and complexities that occurred in 2020, adding that the company had showed four years of sustained profitability.
“Keeping our people safe and employed under the Covid-19 environment was paramount to us. We know we have an important part to play in New Zealand’s recovery and we demonstrated that through how we cared for our people as they carried out their role as essential service providers for our farm suppliers.
“Our financial performance lays the foundation for our optimism and fuels our ability to deliver on our commitment to our strategy and vision of being the world’s most sustainable grass-fed red meat company,” Limmer said.