Australian dairy firm Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory has claimed it produced “strong” annual profits despite earnings falling by 18%.

The company yesterday (27 August) reported net profit of A$15.2m (US$15.8m) for the 12 months to the end of June, down 17.9% on a year earlier. EBIT decreased 25.4% to A$22.8m.

WCB chairman Frank Davis said the company had “once again … delivered robust earnings for shareholders and milk suppliers, in a year marked by a declining global economy and international commodity prices”.

The result was better the dairy products and ingredients firm had forecast. In June, WCB said its annual profits would drop by 20-30%, citing falling prices for dairy commodities.

Turnover fell 1.3% to A$497.8m. Volumes were 5% lower as WCB held back inventories in the hope prices would improve in the new financial year. However, it said it expected “continued restraint in commodity prices” for the first half of its new financial year.

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