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Bull among the bears: AACo's greener pastures as profits surge and Wagyu booms


Beef producer Australian Agriculture’s full-year profit has surged to $137 million as Wagyu sales improved and asset values jumped.

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The company’s operating profit doubled from $24.4 million to $49.9 million, but there was no provision for a dividend to shareholders.

AACo said it saw a 21 per cent increase in average meat sales per kilogram, but this was offset by a 14 per cent reduction of the volume of meat sales as the herd was rebuilt after years of flood and drought.

But it was the revaluation of property that boosted its bottom line. An extra $254 million was added to the balance sheet from improved property and herd values and net assets increased to $1.36 billion.

Branded meat sales into the North American market jumped 21 per cent in volume and 56 per cent in sales value. Asian and Australian markets were down but Europe jumped 41 per cent.

Wagyu meat sales grew 21 per cent.

Managing director Hugh Killen said the recovery of food service following Covid restrictions had been an important factor.

However, the company pointed to worrying signs of inflation and supply chains would continue to be impacted by geopolitical risks.

However, it said the demand for quality protein would continue to grow and global beef supply chains would struggle to cope.

Killen said growth in South Korea remained a key focus for the company and improved store brand experience helped the Darling Downs brand retain a leading market share for Wagyu beef in the premium market.

The fall in Asian and Australian market volumes was based on the company’s decision to reallocate the high value cuts to its key markets.




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