Australian ginger producer Buderim Ginger has announced that pre-tax profits for the half-year ended 30 June will show an improvement on the corresponding period last year.

The company is predicting losses of around A$100,000 (US$64,548) compared with $270,000 before tax last year. Managing director Gerard O’Brien is reported by Australian Business News as saying: “If it had not been for the negative impact of the rapid appreciation of the Australian dollar over the six-month period, we would be announcing a much more significant improvement and a solid profit.”

O’Brien attributed the improved performance to a robust growth in export sales, offsetting a negligible slump in domestic sales.

Drought has been a real problem in the Australian growing area, pushing the ginger intake below expectations. This made it difficult to fulfil demand in some areas.

Chairman John Ruscoe said that no interim dividend would be paid, but that the company expects to pay a final dividend from full-year profits.