Fonterra posts $605m net loss in annual results

Fonterra has posted a net loss of $605 million, at the lower end of what was expected, largely due to asset writedowns of $826m.

Fonterra last month said it was expecting to post a loss of $590 million to $675m, and announced yesterday it was selling its half share in DFE Pharma to reduce debt.

Delaying its results early this month, it also froze the pay of about 6000 of its highest-earning staff for 12 months.

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Scott Evans gave his response to Fonterra’s massive $605 million loss. Source: 1 NEWS

It recently slashed the value of its business by writing down the value of its operations by up to $860 million.

Federated Farmers' Chris Lewis told Morning Report ahead of the release the hope for farmers was that the period of difficulty and resetting was over, and this would be the cooperative's first evidence of a change in direction.

"It looks like it's going to be the plan, hopefully it's not another year of write-downs.

"If that happens it will really really really dent farmer confidence, but it looks like they'll try and clear out the house today and try and focus on a clear strategy or plan forward.

He said farmers wanted to see a clear plan for how the cooperative would perform in future.

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It is the second ever worst result for the dairy industry giant. Source: 1 NEWS

"End of day, performance answers all the critics ... you can write all the big strategies, put all the fancy words in and say all the nice things but end of the day it comes down to performance and if you need a really good culture and it needs to be led from the top."

He said underlying earnings and a reduction of debt would be critical markers, and he expected there would be some restructuring.

"There's been a lot of rumours come out of Fonterra around restructuring, it's obviously got too many staff, it's top heavy ... farmers will be looking for a fit and trim Fonterra that can perform well and you can't do that when you're bloated."

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A big asset sell-off and job losses are expected. Source: 1 NEWS

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