New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra today (22 September) reported a 13% rise in annual profits thanks to growth from its international operations.

Fonterra posted after-tax profit of NZ$771m (US$602.9m) for the year to 31 July. Revenue climbed 19% to NZ$19.9bn, which Fonterra said was a “record” for the company.

It pointed to a “bumper year” for dairy exports and “strong contributions” from its overseas businesses. Fonterra’s dairy shipments equalled 2.1m tonnes, another record, it said.

Fonterra reported an “improved performance” from its ingredients arm and its overseas consumer businesses. It added, however, that profits from its consumer division in Australia and New Zealand “were down in a tough market environment”.

CEO Andrew Ferrier said: “Although the business was impacted by higher dairy ingredient prices and a fragile global economy, our underlying profitability showed solid growth over last year due to improvements within our ingredients businesses and the strength of our consumer brands.”

Chairman Henry van der Heyden said the record financial peformance and record milk production meant Fonterra could hand out milk payments and dividends of NZ$10.6bn – another record.