PGG Wrightson [NZX: PGW], the rural services firm controlled by China's Agria Corp, said full-year earnings exceeded its guidance even in the face on unfavourable weather and announced the $30 million purchase of a company that owns properties it leases.
Operating earnings before net finance costs, income tax, depreciation, amortisation, fair value adjustments, non-operating items and equity accounted earnings was between $56 million and $58 million, beating the guidance it affirmed in February of $52 million to $56 million.
"The market and PGW's trading performance has held up well in the past six months despite some localised challenges," chief executive Mark Dewdney said in a statement. "The upper North Island saw another summer drought develop with farmers looking for rains to come mid-April. Just as this happened we also experienced a tough spell in the South with very wet and cold weather conditions challenging arable production and winter sowing activities."
Wrightson also said it has acquired AG Property Holdings, having sold it 40 properties subject to lease back, at the time of the 2005 merger between Wrightson and Pyne Gould Guiness. The properties include retail stores, seed processing sites and livestock saleyards. AG Property has no other assets.
"The decision to sell the properties was made at a different point in time, and the company now has a completely different look to its balance sheet and we are pleased to have been able to negotiate their acquisition," Dewdney said.
Wrightson shares were unchanged at 41.5 cents and have gained 3.8 percent this year.
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