$47m for shareholders

$47-m-for-shareholders

Ballance's rebate and dividends were paid to shareholders last week

October 1, 2012

$47m for shareholders

A total of $47 million was distributed to Ballance shareholders last week in the form of rebate and dividend payments.

Ballance Chairman, David Graham, told the company’s annual meeting in Ashburton last week that good performance by the co-operative meant shareholders would share in a $40 rebate per tonne of fertiliser purchased, worth $43.6 million and a 10 cent imputed dividend per share, worth a further $3.4 million.

“That works out to an average return of $44.29 a tonne.”

Payments in the hand will vary according to farm fertiliser products and tonnages, but will average around $6,000 for a shareholder purchasing 150 tonnes, with a further $625 gross dividend if the share quota is fully paid up.

“The rebate will be a welcome contribution to farm budgets, especially as we come into the growing season. It also underlines the value of membership in our co-operative,” Mr Graham told the annual meeting.

“We’re in business to make money, but the difference here is we’re a co-op, working for you, ensuring you get your farm and animal nutrients at the most competitive prices and returning our profits through our rebates and dividend.”

With regards to what lies ahead for the coming year Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau told shareholders at the meeting he is forecasting continued volatility in fertiliser prices as political tensions in North Africa continue to influence supply and other producers implement an “our farmers first” policy.

“We’re seeing producers like China use export tariffs to meet growing local demand, but that flows through to supply shortages in the global markets. Everyone wants to look after their own farmers first and with the outlook for agriculture generally positive, those farmers are looking to make the most of it.

“We want to look after our farmers too and we have been out in the market talking to a range of suppliers so we can do that. As we showed last financial year, our ability to shop around and secure product at the right price enabled us to counter the worst of the volatility and give our customers reasonably steady pricing. We’re aiming to do the same this year, supporting our customers to get the best production so they can take advantage of the generally good market conditions.”

At the annual meeting Ballance shareholders farewelled Ward B Director David Hurst, who retired after 18 years as a director. Fellow Ward B Director Gray Baldwin retired by rotation and was re-elected by shareholders to continue to represent their Ward. Murray Taggart (Ward C) was also returned as a director after retiring by rotation and was re-elected unopposed.

1 October 2012

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