Wellard expects profits, despite ‘complex’ position

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Wellard is the biggest livestock shipping business in Australia
Wellard is the biggest livestock shipping business in Australia

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Australia’s largest livestock shipping business, Wellard, expects its full-year profits to be in line with company estimates, despite a double ship breakdown which cost the business AU$7.7 million in repair fees alone.

Wellard is banking on booking pre-tax profits of AU$85.9m (£50.8m) when it publishes its audited full-year trading results on or around 31 August. This is good news for the shipping company after what chief executive Mauro Balzarini called a challenging six months​”​.

In the last half-year, the business was hit by mechanical failures on two of its vessels – the M/V Ocean Swagman and the M/V Ocean Outback. Cumulatively, this cost Wellard AU$7.7m ($5.9m) to fix, not to mention the costs it may have incurred by having two ships, capable transporting some 50,000 sheep, out of service.

‘Difficult’ environment

In a statement, Wellard​ explained that this created a “complex​” monetary situation and was not yet able to say if its insurer would cover the costs of its out-of-service shipping.

The company also said it did not expect the situation to be resolved in time for inclusion in its audited full-year trading report.

Balzarini said the unexpected events had not made a “difficult trading environment​” any easier, but said the business had been able to retain its market position and had “increased market share in some countries​”.

It has left the business to estimate that its unaudited net profit after tax to be somewhere in the region of AU$14m-AU$15m.

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