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Nufarm expects flat first-half profit but better full-year result

Thursday 1st December 2011

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Nufarm, the agricultural chemicals company, says first-half profit should be “broadly in line” with the A$22.7 million it reported for the same six months a year earlier.

The previous first-half had included currency gains which aren't expected to be repeated, managing director Doug Rathbone told the annual shareholders' meeting in Melbourne.

“On an operating basis – and ignoring any currency impact – the performance of the business in the first half of 2012 is expected to be stronger, particularly in Brazil which continues to show very positive growth,” Rathbone said.

“Achieving this forecast is, of course, dependent on December and January trading results,” he said.

Nufarm had previously said it was confident it will report an improved operating profit outcome for the full year. “Our view has not changed and we will remain very focused on driving the business over the remaining months of the year to achieve that outcome.”

Nufarm reported an A$49.5 million net loss for the year ended July 31 after write-offs of A$148.1 million, following an A$22.7 million net loss for the year ended July 2010.

The year had been “extremely challenging but we have accomplished a great deal,” Rathbone said.

Underlying profit had improved, the company had refinanced its debt to provide certainty and stability and it has made good progress on specific growth objectives, he said.

“We now have a solid strategic plan that provides a clear blueprint for both relevant change and future direction of the company.”

Rathbone said he doesn't expect the current year's results will include significant one-off items but there will be some associated with financing and legal costs.

Nufarm shares rose 0.2 percent to A$4.76 on the ASX, up from as low as A$3.08 in August but down from the recent A$4.83 high in early November.

Nufarm's NZX listed perpetual, subordinated, unsecured, redeemable exchangeable notes last traded on November 29 at $103 per $100 face value, up from as low as $64 in September last year.

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Ciao NUF and PDL