Fonterra's very strong credit rating underlines the company's ability to fund its acquisition and joint venture strategy from the strength of its balance sheet, CFO Graham Stuart said today [Tuesday].

Stuart was commenting on Fitch Ratings assigning Fonterra a long term rating of AA- and a short-term rating of F-1+, both equivalent to last year's ratings by Standard & Poor's of AA- and A-1+ respectively, and meaning that Fonterra has very strong capacity to meet its debt obligations.

It gives Fonterra the same rating as other Fitch clients such as Carrefour, ASDA Group, and Tesco.

"This is an excellent result and confirms Fonterra's underlying credit strength and the confidence of the rating agencies in the business profile and growth strategy," Stuart said.