Meat co-op makes $25m, invests for members and growers

CASINO'S Northern Co-operative Meat Company has posted a record $25.9m profit before tax for the 2014 financial year.

Chairman John Seccombe has attributed the result to a number of factors including, the drought-induced record turnoff of cattle and improved operational performance.

"This is a bittersweet result for the co-operative as we know our producer members have received poor livestock prices over the period," Mr Seccombe said.

"The upside is that it provides the business with the necessary capital to undertake business improving investment for the benefit of future generations."

Mr Seccombe said he understood the frustrations of some members in relation to poor vealer prices; however he rejected the notion it was as a result of the Ramsey Meats acquisition and the subsequent establishment of the Manning veal business.

He said these businesses came to being for the purpose of asset utilisation on the veal floor of the plant and to ultimately support the local veal producer.

"The prices paid for livestock are a function of supply and demand. With a lack of re-stockers and backgrounders operating especially out of the local market, it created an oversupply for processors," Mr Seccombe said.

He outlined to co-operative members at the recent AGM the capital investment program for the coming year and the establishment of the member services division that will provide improved communication and services to members.

The board recommended the allocation of redeemable bonus shares to members following this year's result plus a dividend. The recommendations were accepted by the AGM.

He said "we are very proud of the result and the board is focused on ensuring the investment strategy is prudent and provides appropriate returns to the co-operative, its members and the community as a whole".

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