Fonterra still expects a loss of NZD590-675m

Fonterra still expects a loss of NZD590-675m

Fonterra is delaying the publication of its annual results by more than two weeks because the world's largest dairy cooperative needs extra time to complete a financial audit on the back of a number of previously-announced write-downs.

The Auckland-based business reiterated comments made in August that it expects to report a loss of NZD590m (US$377.3m today) to NZD675m for the year ended 31 July, equating to a 37 to 42 cent loss per share. But it will will now report results no later than the last day of September instead of the 12 September due date, the co-op said in a statement. 

Back in August, Fonterra said it was cutting the book value of a number of assets as part of a review of operations following the Anchor butter owners first-ever annual loss in 2018.

Write-downs relate to DPA Brazil - the Dairy Partners Americas joint venture with Nestlé - the New Zealand consumer business, Fonterra's China Farms arm and the Australian ingredients division, and total NZD820-860m. 

Fonterra and auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are working through the audit, with "significant accounting adjustments" delaying the process, it said, while the board then has to approve the numbers to "reflect the values attributable to equity holders".

The co-op added the change in reporting date "is unrelated to any discussions with the Financial Markets Authority, recent speculation about further material asset impairments, or other announcements". Its milk price paid to farmers will also not be affected, it said.