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Expansion Sees Rabobank Profit Rise

Local Expansion Sees Rabobank Australia & New Zealand’s Profit Rise to A$159.7 million

The Considering investing in a new piece of farm equipment or machinery but not sure of the most effective payment method for your business?

PIBA Equipment Finance Manager in Townsville, Peter Stevens, says there are a number of equipment financing options confronting today’s primary producers, including paying cash, using existing bank facilities or seeking an alternative such as hire purchase, leasing or a fixed rate loan agreement.

“Each of the three alternatives offers the ability to retain existing cash resources for either on-farm or off-farm investment, and not impinging on your existing bank facilities. Nor will they necessarily tie up landed securities, which may be mortgaged to the current financier,” said Peter.

Taking advantage of this flexibility of payment options can help smooth out cash flow, an issue of particular importance when seasonal fluctuations are a dominating feature of the industry.

PIBA Equipment Finance offers these alternatives with the added flexibility of structuring payments relative to the diminution in value over the life of the machine. Costs are thus spread out over the productive life of the equipment with the impact on cash flow being minimised.

Leasing, hire purchase or fixed rate loan agreement contracts normally do not require other assets for security. Additionally, the rates are competitive with other forms of financing.

Finance offered by PIBA Equipment Finance is available for the full range of equipment for agricultural businesses including tractors, harvesters, tillage equipment, commercial motor vehicles and grain storage bins. Finance is also available for quality used plant and equipment, subject to age limitations.[Body copy]Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group today announced a pre-tax operating profit of A$159.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. This represented a 22 per cent increase on the previous year’s A$130.9 million profit.

Revenue for the local arm of the world’s largest specialist food and agricultural bank climbed nearly 10 per cent for the year to A$280.9 million.

Announcing the results, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand CEO Bruce Dick said the group’s strong performance reflected significant growth in its rural and corporate divisions.

“The group has significantly increased its business in rural Australia and New Zealand, with a major investment in the expansion of our rural branch network during 2002,” he said.

Rabobank opened six new branches and put in place plans to establish another seven locations in 2003. Once all locations officially open by mid-2003, this will bring the bank’s total number of Australasian branches to 66.

The bank’s commitment to developing its rural business also saw staff levels increase by 21 per cent, with many of these 125 new jobs in rural and regional areas

The Rabobank group is now positioned as the third largest lender to rural Australia, with approximately 17 per cent of the country’s A$26 billion farm bank debt. In New Zealand, the group has an approximately 12 per cent share of the country’s NZ$17.2 billion farm bank debt and is the fastest-growing bank in the rural sector, based on compound annual growth rate.

In the corporate division – which provides corporate lending and other financial services to the major food and agribusiness companies – 2002 saw continued growth in demand for the bank’s specialist services.

Mr Dick said the 2002 results were in line with the group’s strong performance over the past five years, with an average annual profit growth in excess of 20 per cent in this period.

He said this growth was expected to continue through 2003.

“The short-term effects of drought in Australia and current international instability not-withstanding, we are very optimistic about the outlook for food and rural industries generally and our growth in the market in particular,” he said.

“Our food producers rank among the best in the world and give us great confidence in the future of the sector.”

Results Summary (AUD)
2002 2001*
$m $m
Total revenue 280.9 256.1
Total expenses 115.3 102.0
Profit before tax & provisions 165.5 154.1
Profit before tax 159.7 130.9
Assets 12,393 12,002

Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group’s results follow the international Rabobank Group reporting a four per cent increase in net profit for 2002 to EUR 1,250 million.

Internationally and locally, Rabobank focusses specifically on the food and agribusiness industries.

* 2001 figures adjusted to reflect 2002 New Zealand foreign exchange rate.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 100 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank has a AAA credit rating and, in recent years, has twice been awarded the title of the world’s safest bank by Global Finance magazine. Rabobank operates in 33 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1900 offices and branches. Rabobank is one of New Zealand’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 25 branches through New Zealand.

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