Wellard ‘heading in right direction’ towards profitability

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Klepec said: "There is still more work to be done."
Klepec said: "There is still more work to be done."
Australian-based animal exporter Wellard Limited has revealed that its ‘cost out’ program and vessel utilisation have significantly improved its financial performance after releasing its full-year results.

After experiencing financial difficulties during 2017, the business said it had improved its EBITDA by AU$6.1m and improved its net loss after tax by $38.9m.

The business’ soaring shipping capacity has also driven its gross profit from $27.6m in 2017 to $40m in 2018.

The business predicted that it would experience a trading loss​ during 2017 after breaching bank covenants on the 31 December 2016, as well as facing climatic challenges in northern Australia, which affected cattle supply.

The animal exporter attributed its financial improvements towards its cost out program and its vessel utilisation, describing them as “significant factors​”.

Wellard launched its cost out program last year to try and reduce $10m in operating and administration expenses for 2018. The program helped expenses to plummet by 24.1% in 2018, saving $17.3m.

Its vessel utilisation, which was described by Wellard as an “important contributor​” to its financial performance, was below budget.

Wellard’s executive chairman John Klepec said the trend was better and that reporting a loss last year was “unacceptable​”.

The board, staff and management are committed to returning Wellard to profitability​,” said Klepec. “We are heading in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done​.”

Despite financial improvements, the business reported that its total revenue had fallen by 41.5% from $497.9m to $291.1m due to an increase in chartering activity, which reduced the number of cattle and sheep bought and sold by the company.

Wellard said it would continue to “place emphasis​” on securing contracts for the remainder of the year to continue improving its trading results into 2019.

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