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Asian Citrus FY Profits Plunge On Lower Production; Cuts Dividend 44%

Fri, 27th Sep 2013 12:47

LONDON (Alliance News) - Asian Citrus Holdings Limited Friday reported a huge drop in profits and revenues for its recent full year, due to a fall in production resulting from its ongoing replanting programme, as well as a serious citrus disease which spread across one of its plantations.

The orange plantation operator in China said that the outbreak of the citrus disease, known as citrus canker, should be limited to the current year's summer crop, and expects production volumes of summer oranges from its infected Hepu plantation to return to normal in the 2014 financial year.

The company declared a total dividend of CNY0.10, a 44% decrease from CNY0.18 the prior year.

Asian Citrus reported a pretax profit for the year ended June 30 of CNY124.7 million, compared with CNY765.1 million the year before. The company did not record tax for either year.

Revenue for the financial year ended June 30, fell 16% to CNY1.49 billion, from the prior year's CNY1.78 billion.

It said that revenue from the sale of oranges at its two operating plantations, fell by 13% to CNY920 million for the year, due to roughly a 10% decrease in the group's production to 218,600 tonnes, combined with a 2.9% drop in the average selling price of oranges.

It said that total orange production fell, due to its replanting programme, and the outbreak of citrus canker in the Hepu Plantation. It also reported a fall in sales of its processed fruit products, such fruit juices, fruit purees and dried fruit.

The group said it had taken measures to combat the citrus canker, such as trimming, additional application of fertilisers, pesticides and bactericides, and strengthening inspection.

Asian Citrus said the percentage of corporate customers who bought its oranges increased to 44%, from 37% a year earlier, making corporates its largest customer category. Wholesale customers made up the next largest category at 28%, as its Xinfeng plantation had not yet achieved full maturity and therefore sold more oranges to those types of customers. As a result, Asian Citrus reported a slight fall in the percentage of sales to supermarket chains, to 28%.

The group said it is confident in achieving better results in the year ahead, due to a combination of a more diversified product mix, the planting of more banana and grapefruit trees at two of its plantations, and the commencement of trial production at its third fruit-processing plant in the next financial year.

Asian Citrus Holdings shares were down 0.10 pence at 22.40p Friday.

By Rowena Harris-Doughty;; @rharrisdoughty

Copyright 2013 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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