Parmalat Pacific, a unit of beleaguered Italian food group Parmalat, has reported a net loss of A$165.9m (US$116.6m) for 2003, hit by one-off charges related to the insolvency of its parent company.

Parmalat Pacific, which in 2003 had operations in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, wrote off a $145m bond issued by Parmalat Finance and $43.9m owed to the company by non-Australian Parmalat units, reported Dow Jones News. The company posted a net loss of $29.7m in 2002.

One highlight of the unit’s results was the performance of its Australian operations, which posted profit before tax and one-time items of $9.2m, a turnaround of $39.5m from the previous year.

The company’s sales in Australia increased 2.9% to $647.7m, accounting for almost 96% of Parmalat’s Pacific’s total sales, which came in at $677.9m.

Parmalat Pacific has already sold off its Thai operations, and is in talks to divest its operations in Vietnam. It expects to close its Indonesian unit.

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“The operating performance of Parmalat Australia in 2003 supports our stance, and that of administrator Enrico Bondi, that this company is a strong and viable business, with positive cash flow, quality brands and established, solid markets,” David Lord, managing director of Parmalat Australia, was quoted by Dow Jones News as saying.