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F00 Full Year Results Briefing

Chairman’s Opening Remarks
F00 Full Year Results Briefing
Goodman Fielder Limited

Good morning and welcome to the results briefing for the year ended 30 June 2000.

The last twelve months have been very successful for Goodman Fielder. The company recorded a 24.2 per cent increase in net profit after tax before abnormals to $130.9 million. Even after abnormals, net profit was up by nearly 27 per cent to $83 million.

The financial results reflect some of the most far-ranging changes in the history of the company. As part of our continued portfolio restructuring, Goodman Fielder sold non-core businesses, such as Steggles poultry, Vetta pasta, and since the year-end, Starch Australasia. The company also acquired strong businesses such as Bunge Defiance in Australia, Ernest Adams in New Zealand and Shanghai Van Den Bergh in China.

These changes fundamentally improved the shape and strength of the business, creating a unique and extremely strong group of businesses based in particular on our core Australasian operations. The strength of our combined businesses in Australia and New Zealand is highlighted by very strong growth in sales of seven per cent, earnings before interest and tax of 24 per cent, and high return on funds employed of just over 15 per cent.

Dividend

On the basis of the performance last year, the Board of Directors have declared a final dividend of 4.0 cents per share, giving a total dividend of 7.5 cents per share. This means the pay-out ratio will fall from 90 per cent to 73.1 per cent in line with the new dividend policy announced last year. The company will not rest on this result and we will continue to drive improved operational performance and shareholder returns.

Outlook

It is obviously too early to comment in detail on the new financial year, although trading conditions so far have been satisfactory. My personal view is that we should not make a detailed forecast until the interim result. However, the full year result provides us with improved confidence about future earnings growth as we extract the next phase of benefits from ongoing restructuring and integration.

Our strategic objective therefore is clear. We aim to generate increased earnings to shareholders on a sustainable basis. This full year profit result provides the Board of Directors with confidence that we can do that. As a sign of this confidence, the Board of Directors expect to frank our dividend payment to 50 per cent from the first half of the 2001 financial year.


Jon Peterson
Chairman
8 September 2000

For further information:

Jill Dryden, Porter Novelli New Zealand
Tel: 09 373 3786 or 021 242 0486

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