07/02/2008 - 10:33

CBH Group invests $50m in country network

07/02/2008 - 10:33

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CBH Group has announced it will invest $50 million into its country receival network, as part of its capital expenditure program for the coming year.

CBH Group has announced it will invest $50 million into its country receival network, as part of its capital expenditure program for the coming year.

The program was finalised at the CBH Group Board meeting in Perth on Wednesday 6 February, 2008 and will provide additional facilities to more than 17 sites across the state.

CBH Group chief executive Imre Mencshelyi said the decision was based on the group's improved financial
performance for the 2006-07 financial year, and demonstrated a strong commitment to the storage and handing system in Western Australia.

"The CBH Group returned a better than expected net profit of $39.9 million before tax, based on a 6.4 million tonne harvest, which is a very creditable performance," he said.

"The company's strong financial result not only demonstrates its ability to effectively manage the impact of the current drought, but it also reflects the ongoing focus of the CBH Group to maintain and enhance operational efficiencies."

Mr Mencshelyi said the $50 million Capital Expenditure Program will target sites that have been identified as requiring improvement to further enhance on-site performance and the level of service offered to growers.

"York will receive the most substantial works with $11 million allocated to upgrading the site," he said.

"Other major upgrades are planned for Moora, Dowerin, Chadwick and Brookton with $7.8 million, $6.75 million, $6.55 million and $6.00 million to be invested respectively into each site.

"In addition, general works will be carried out at Avon, Dumbleyung, Gairdner, Cranbrook, Kojaneerup, Regans Ford, Mingenew, Borden, Merredin, Dulyalbin, MGC and the Kwinana Terminal.

"$1 million will also be spent on sundry works across the network."

In the past 8 years the CBH Group has spent more than $455 million in capital works across the network.

CBH Group Chairman, Tony Critch said the decision to return value to the country network is an investment in the CBH Group's core business of storage and handling, and reflects the board's continued commitment to ensuring the long-term survival and success of its grower shareholders.

"Following extensive upgrades to the ports across the state, the Board recognised the need to improve operating efficiencies and create greater storage capacity at country sites," he said.

"This is clearly an investment in sustainability, one that creates value for Western Australian growers through investment in the core business of the company, the infrastructure and the level of service that growers experience today."

Mr Critch said Western Australian growers are among the most competent in global agriculture and the CBH Group is committed to ensuring that growers not only maintain efficiencies, but assist them in becoming even more resourceful.

"We have a responsibility to ensure all users of the network maintain the efficiencies that have formed the basis of our competitive advantage in Western Australia for many years."

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