Australian food company SPC Ardmona has posted an 8.2% rise in 2003 profit to A$26.2m (US$20.4m), despite the severe drought and frosts which had a negative impact on its operations.

In late September the company’s operations were hit by a harsh frost, severely reducing apricot volumes and peach volumes, reported the Australian. This followed the worst drought in the Goulburn Valley in 100 years. However, the company said revenue rose 7.8% to $487.8m.

Managing director Nigel Garrard said the high Australian dollar and the effects of the frosts would impact the company’s profit growth in 2004.

“Perhaps the profit growth won’t be as large as it was (in 2003) due to those things,” Garrard was quoted by the Australian as saying.