05/12/2016 - 15:51

Private timber plays paying out for Japanese owners

05/12/2016 - 15:51

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Higher revenue from an improved woodchip market and a lower dollar has boosted profits at Albany Plantation Export Company, WA Plantation Resources and Bunbury Fibre Exports.

Private timber plays paying out for Japanese owners
Globulus is a type of Eucalyptus tree grown in the state's South West.

Higher revenue from an improved woodchip market and a lower dollar has boosted profits at Albany Plantation Export Company, WA Plantation Resources and Bunbury Fibre Exports.

Revenue at Bunbury-headquartered WA Plantation Resources was 23.2 per cent higher at $81.3 million in the year to December 2015, according to the company’s annual report sighted by Business News.

Exports of Karri timber were up by around 26,000 tonnes on a slightly lower price, while Globulus timber volumes remained steady as the price increased $20.

That took WA Plantation Resources to a $8.9 million after-tax profit, up from an $824,000 loss in the previous period.

The company declared a $2.3 million special dividend in January.

Japanese business Marubeni Corporation is the owner of WA Plantation Resources.

Revenue was also up at Albany Plantation Export Company, increasing around 48.6 per cent to $78.6 million in the year to March 2016.

Processing costs were higher, up from $39.4 million to $57.6 million, with profit rising from $1.7 million to $6.5 million.

Albany paid a $7 million dividend in May, with two Japan-based shareholders, trading house Itochu Corporation and Oji Paper Company, the beneficiaries.

At Bunbury Fibre Exports, which has a March reporting date, revenue was $84.2 million, slightly higher than $80.9 million in the corresponding previous period.

The company operates a mill at the Port of Bunbury and buys wood from local growers.

After tax profit was also up slightly, from $3 million to $4 million.

After not declaring a 2015 dividend, Bunbury returned $3 million to shareholders for the 2016 financial year.

It is controlled by Japan's Mitsui & Company.

Meanwhile, Malaysian-backed cereal and sheep business KLK Farms has reported a $7.1 million loss for the year to September, on the back of below average yields and higher than expected overhead costs.

That was down from a loss of $8.4 million in the 2015 financial year, with KLK using a September balance date.

The company, which owns farming properties across the country including grain and sheep farms in Western Australia, is a subsidiary of listed Malaysian company Kuala Lumpur Kepong.

In its annual report sighted by Business News, KLK reported revenue of up around 3 per cent to $19.1 million, although it said grain revenue came in about $6 million below expectations.

Overhead costs were $815,000 above their expected level.

Looking forward, KLK expected strong yields in the year ahead, although it forecast lower grain prices.

All totalled, data from the BNiQ Search Engine suggests the state’s 10 biggest agribusinesses have a combined revenue of around $7.3 billion annually.

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