Embattled Australian dairy group Murray Goulburn today (22 August) booked annual losses of more than AUD370m (US$248.9m) and a 10% fall in revenues.

The Devondale milk owner booked a net loss after tax of AUD370.8m for the year to the end of June, hit in part by one-off costs linked to factory closures and a move to forgive debts owed by farmers.

Nevertheless, the cooperative’s underlying net profit after tax was down 14.5%.

Murray Goulburn’s revenue dropped 10.3% to AUD2.49bn.

Revenue from the co-op’s dairy foods division declined 8% to AUD1.22bn amid a fall in adult milk-powder sales.

The company’s ingredients arm benefited from better commodity prices. However, Murray Goulburn’s combined ingredients and nutritionals division reported a 12% slide in sales to AUD958m as one unnamed “key customer” became “increasingly self-sufficient”.

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By GlobalData

Murray Goulburn reduced its net debt after cash by AUD35m to AUD445m. The co-op’s gearing level at the end of the financial year was 37.7%, up from 29% a year earlier, as a result of “material impairments” due to its review of its business and footprint.

In June, Murray Goulburn, trying to rebound from a problematic 2016, launched a “comprehensive” review it said would look at “all aspects” of its strategy and corporate structure. The move followed a previous review of the group’s manufacturing network, which resulted in the closure of three facilities.

CEO Ari Mervis said: “MG has experienced a difficult year as a result of the significant reduction in milk intake and adverse seasonal conditions. A new management team is now in place, and a comprehensive strategic review covering all aspects of MG’s strategy and corporate structure, including the profit sharing mechanism and capital structure, is accelerating. These are all necessary steps to strengthen and improve the performance of MG.”

Alongside the publication of the results, Murray Goulburn said it had attracted interest from unnamed parties considering buying part of the business or the group as a whole.