Bega enjoyed growth in underlying profits

Bega enjoyed growth in underlying profits

Australian dairy group Bega Cheese has booked an increase in annual profits, as higher global dairy commodity prices helped boost sales.

Bega posted a 17% rise in what the company called "normalised" profit after tax to A$29.8m (US$27.7m) for the year to the end of June. Normalised EBITDA rose 7% to A$70m.

The normalised figures excluded the proceeds from the sale of Bega Cheese's stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory following its failed takeover of its Australian dairy peer.

Bega Cheese said its revenue increased 6% to A$1.07bn. It pointed to "very strong global commodity prices" particularly in the first half of the year, as well as "continued growth" from its nutritional business.

On a reported basis, Bega Cheese's profit after tax more than doubled to A$66.1m in the year to the end of June. Reported EBITDA was up 88% at A$122.5m.

Bega Cheese made net proceeds of A$66m from the sale of its shares in WCB. The company lost out on a takeover of WCB to Canada's Saputo.