More farmers sign up for benefits

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Ballance Chairman David Peacocke says the continued growth trend is pleasing and reflects ongoing confidence in the co-operative."  

July 8, 2015

More farmers sign up for benefits

The ranks of Ballance shareholders continue to grow with the agri-nutrient co-operative’s latest signings of more than 1,000 new members bringing shareholder numbers up to a record 19,253.  They follow a boost to shareholder numbers in the prior financial year when another 1,000 new farmers signed up to benefit from the co-operative’s rebates and dividends.

 

Taking into account shareholdings redeemed the net increase in shareholders since 2013 totals 936.

 

Ballance Chairman David Peacocke says the continued growth trend is pleasing and reflects ongoing confidence in the co-operative.

 

“This year our solid financial performance meant we were able to return some cash to farmers early, announcing and paying our rebate and dividend averaging $60 per tonne in the same week.”

 

The rebate, averaging $55.83 a tonne along with a 10 cent dividend per share saw a total distribution to shareholders of $76 million paid on 31 July – equating to 94 percent of Ballance’s $81 million gross trading result.  A total of $54 million was paid out in cash.

“The early rebate payment has been met with a huge positive response from our shareholders, who’ve really appreciated the injection of cash on-farm at a time when cashflow is limited.”

“We are seeing farm sizes grow and actual farm numbers decrease, so we are doing well to attract new shareholders while retaining those on the registry.  Our consistent track record with rebates and our good dividend performance work in our favour, alongside our policy of keeping our products as competitive as they can be, taking into account market movements in fertiliser demand and pricing.”

 

Returns to shareholders vary according to tonnages and product purchased over the financial year, but a fully paid up shareholder who purchased 100 tonnes received around $6,000 this year.

To become a shareholder, a farmer must buy a minimum 30 shares, at a cost of $243 at the current $8.10 valuation. They then forecast their annual purchases of fertiliser to calculate a fully shared quota.

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