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Financial Results, Six Months Ended 30 Nov 2001

Financial Results, Six Months Ended 30 November 2001

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 November 2001. This is the first period of trading for the company, which was formed through the merger of Kiwi Co-operative Dairies Limited, New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited and the New Zealand Dairy Board in October 2001.

The Chief Financial Officer, Mr Graham Stuart, said the company’s progress in its first trading period had been satisfactory. “The challenge ahead of us is to maintain our performance in the more difficult international environment for the remainder of the financial year.”

Revenue and earnings

The company recorded revenue in the half-year of $7 billion. This reflected good international market prices prevailing at the beginning of the interim period. More recently, prices have fallen, especially sharply for milk powder.

Operating surplus after minority interests was $2.9 billion. For the purpose of these interim financial statements, it has been assumed that this operating surplus will be paid out to suppliers. The Board will decide on the final payment to suppliers at the end of the financial year.

518 million kilograms of milk solids were supplied by our shareholders in the interim period.

Dairy farming in New Zealand is seasonal. Accordingly, Fonterra’s financial performance in the first half of the year is not necessarily indicative of the likely full-year outcome.

Balance sheet

Shareholders’ equity of $5.1 billion includes co-operative shares, peak notes and supply redemption rights totalling $4.8 billion, comprising 1,052,375,180 co-operative shares, 37,316,548 peak notes and 30,106,708 supply redemption rights issued to farmers on 16 October 2001.

The $200 million public offer of Fonterra capital notes, in October 2001, was successful, with all notes fully subscribed.

Non-current assets ($6.1 billion) include estimates of fair value adjustments to fixed assets ($275 million) and brands ($1.6 billion). Fonterra is in the process of obtaining independent valuations with respect to fixed assets and brands, and finalised values will be included in the financial statements for the year ending 31 May 2002.

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited is one of the world's leading dairy companies, with turnover of approximately NZ$14 billion. Fonterra manufactures dairy products at 29 sites in New Zealand and 35 in other countries, and markets them to customers and consumers in 140 countries. It employs $12 billion in assets and 20,000 people.

END

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