Capital raising to involve share placement  and entitlement offer.

Capital raising to involve share placement and entitlement offer.

Australian dried foods producer Murray River Organics posted a full-year loss in its first results as a public listed company after an unusually wet and cold spring hit vine fruit harvest yields.

In conjunction with the AUD6m (US$4.8m) net loss reported for the 12 months through June, the Victoria-based firm said in a statement yesterday (28 August) it plans to raise AUD12M to strengthen its capital base.

It also announced that Jamie Nemtsas, founder, COO and executive director of the company, is to immediately relinquish his roles to return to wealth management advisory services. He will remain a "significant'' shareholder.

Murray River reported full-year revenue of AUD48.5m and AUD62.6m on a pro-forma basis adjusted for acquisitions. The company said revenue was approximately AUD15m below target, primarily due to the delay in the harvest and "slower-than-anticipated uptake'' in sales connected with the delayed refurbishment of its facility in Sunraysia, a region encompassing north-western Victoria and south-western New South Wales. 

While the company posted an EBITDA loss of AUD0.6m, it turned to a positive AUD6.4m on a pro-forma basis. In May, Murray River downgraded its forecast for full-year adjusted EBITDA to AUD12.5-AUD13.5m, below the AUD15.9m announced in the prospectus before the December listing.

The company cited fiscal 2017 highlights as the AUD5.4m investment on the consolidation and improvement of the Sunraysia processing facility in Mourquong that's set for completion by mid-September. It established an organically certified consumer packaged goods plant in Dandenong, Victoria, which is now fully operational. And finally it instigated the full integration of the businesses of Food Source International and Australian Organic Holdings, as well as the acquisition of the Fifth Street vineyard and the Nangiloc property.

With the respect to the planned capital raising to improve the balance sheet and cut debt, Murray River intends to enter into a share placement and a "3 for 11 pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer,'' split into respective portions of AUD5m and AUD7.1m. 

Commenting on the results, managing director Erling Sorensen, said: "FY17 has been a milestone year for MRG. In addition to the IPO, we have invested some AUD44.5m into growing, streamlining and making the business and our offering to the global marketplace broader and more versatile through a number of significant acquisitions and capital projects.

"Despite the lower than expected FY17 financial results, MRG remains a company with strong fundamentals.''