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Comvita posts worse-than-expected $7.6m operating loss

Friday 2nd August 2019

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Comvita says it posted a full-year $7.6 million after-tax operating loss after sales in China were weaker than expected.

In May, the honey marketer had forecast a full-year loss of $6 million due to its third poor harvest in a row. The weaker result was mostly due to a sales shortfall in June because of new requirements placed on daigou sales channels into China and disruptions from riots in Hong Kong, the company said today.

Comvita shares fell 0.7 percent to $3.03, taking their loss this year to 36 percent.

The company embarked on a strategic review in June and is seeking a replacement for chief executive Scott Coulter, who is due to depart in September.

Today’s figures are not audited and compare with the $9.3 million after-tax operating profit the firm reported for the June 30, 2018 year.

Comvita said it traded profitably during the June quarter and delivered positive operating cash flow for the full year. It didn’t provide details.

It said operating profit after tax at the brands business was $2.8 million in the June quarter. The China distribution joint-venture it took control of in April is also trading profitably, it said.

Comvita said its net debt at the end of June was down to $89 million, from $103 million at Dec. 31 and $91.8 million a year earlier.

Inventory, excluding China, stood at $110 million. A comprehensive internal review showed no material issues with inventory valuation, the company noted.

(BusinessDesk)

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