Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Security of Supply, in challenging times, underpins a strong Ravensdown result


Security of Supply, in challenging times, underpins a strong Ravensdown result.

Greenhouse gas reduction for scope 1, 2 and 3 ahead of expectation at 11.5% year on calendar year.

Total injuries 44% below industry benchmarks.

“In the year to 31 May 2022, dominated by volatile pricing and global supply challenges, we have achieved one of our best ever results,” says Ravensdown Chair, Bruce Wills.

Alongside an improving carbon performance and a very safe working environment, Ravensdown has delivered an underlying profit of $68M in the core fertiliser business, and a healthy overall Group result of $95M, before taxation and rebate.

Total tonnage was slightly up on last year at 1.22 million tonnes, and revenue at $922M was up $210m on last year reflecting the rising price environment that has dominated the year.

As one of the largest input costs to our farmers and growers, fertiliser has become the troublesome cost that defies budgeting in this rapidly rising price market. Ravensdown has as your cooperative, applied a simple pricing approach of carrying a fixed margin over procurement costs to deliver price to market. Where we can, we have compressed this margin yielding a FY22 margin percentage lower than last year, ensuring we provide as much of a buffer as possible to international commodity price fluctuations.

“Our fundamental belief is that this cash is better in use on farm than in our hands, and our margin-based pricing approach has proven this to be the case this year,’’ says Ravensdown CEO, Garry Diack.

“Consistent with our cooperative values we have positioned the balance sheet for another challenging year in 2023 with $347M of stock in store - providing confidence of supply to loyal customers for next spring. In doing so we incurred $60M in funded cash flow to take advantage of market pricing opportunities in 2022.”

Ravensdown Shipping Services proved its worth this year allowing for the triple impact of great service for imported bulk product imports, supply chain reliability, and a very healthy return from other commercial bulk capacity. This investment alone provided a $26M boost to the Group’s bottom-line performance.

Tangible delivery of soil science, precision placement technologies, and GHG technologies this year, further cemented Ravensdown’s reputation as the preferred technology partner for our farmers and growers. HawkEye development stepped forward (including automated N-Cap reporting), subscriptions exceeding 6,000 users. EcoPond as the potential champion of effluent-based methane gas emission reduction was formally launched, and a total $22M SFFF agreement for Nitrification inhibitor development was secured with the government partnership.

In looking at the year ahead Garry has a simple message.

“The volatility of the market is not going away, and we need the capacity to capitalise on procurement pricing opportunities, and we need to continue investment in technological support to reduce New Zealand’s fertiliser footprint. The need for a capital buffer for the increasing risk a cooperative structure faces, compels a conservative approach to shareholder rebate for 2022.”

Given this year’s performance and next year’s challenges, a rebate of $25 per tonne has been declared.

“We live in a changing and increasingly complex agriculture sector,” concludes Bruce Wills.

“I would like to thank all customers and shareholders for their ongoing support in these challenging times and look forward to another productive year for New Zealand agriculture – and I hope it stops raining!”

The year at a glance 2021-22:  numbers for 2020-21 in brackets

  • Profit from continuing operations before tax, bonus share issue and rebate: $95 million ($52 million).
  • Operating cashflow after rebates to shareholders: -$60 million ($37 million).
  • Equity ratios: 64% (81%) before rebate and 62% after rebate (78%).
  • Rebate of $25 per tonne to be paid in cash by the end of August for fully paid-up shareholders ($30/t).
  • Revenue: $922 million ($712 million).
  • $4 million invested in new technology ($4 million) and $6 million supporting R&D ($6 million).

Rebates are paid to qualifying shareholders who bought solid qualifying fertiliser products between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022.