Australian feedstock maker and salt producer Ridley Corporation Ltd (ASX:RIC) has reported a A$50 million (US$34.03 million) loss in the first half of fiscal 2009, which it says will mean its full year result also will be a loss.
The half year result was "heavily impacted" by Ridley’s sale of its US subsidiary, Ridley Inc, and the fall in the Australian dollar, leaving the company with a A$52.2 million non-cash loss. The core ongoing operations, Ridley AgriProducts and Cheetham Salt, delivered sound results, especially in the context of the significant challenges during the period, particularly rising freight costs and the downward trend in input costs which had a substantial impact.
Ridley said that the Ridley AgriProducts business generated EBIT of A$10.3 million in the half. Feed volumes were unchanged from last year, with increases in poultry volumes offsetting declines in pigs, dairy and beef. The supplements business significantly reduced its losses compared to the prior half largely due to improvements in plant operations. But sales volumes continued to be below break-even levels, partly due to poor seasonal conditions in the north. Accordingly, Ridley had decided to record an impairment in the value of the supplements business.