New Zealand meat processor Silver Fern Farms today (26 November) revealed that it had swung to a loss in its most recent financial year after restructuring costs hit its bottom line.

For the 12 months to the end of September, the firm made a net operating loss of NZ$800,000 (US$600,298) compared to a profit of NZ$5.4m last year.

One-off restructuring costs of NZ$7.2m contributed to the loss. Silver Fern’s EBIT halved, falling from NZ$36.3m to NZ$18m. Revenues dropped to NZ$1.81bn from NZ$2.01bn.

Silver Fern Farms’ chairman Eoin Garden said that, despite the loss, the company’s “robust” balance sheet now enables the company to focus on “delivering long term profitability”.

Garden said: “It has been a tough, but successful three years, with the company reducing debt by NZ$215m since August 2007, closing three plants and six lamb chains and exiting the Brooks of Norwich operation in the UK.”

Chief executive Keith Cooper added that the 2009/2010 trading environment was “challenging” and pointed to a “volatile” exchange rate and lower lamb numbers.

However, he insisted the company is now in “a strong financial position for the future”.

Click here to view the full earnings release.