Crop protection group Nufarm (ASX:NUF) shareholders will receive a lower final dividend, while the full-year dividend remains unchanged, following the company’s ‘steady as she goes’ annual results announcement on Wednesday.
The company anticipates a similar performance in the first half, potentially resulting in a reduced outcome for shareholders. However, CEO Greg Hunt is optimistic about a return to growth in the second half of 2023-24.
For the 12 months ending on September 30, the company reported an 8% decrease in underlying net profit after tax compared to 2021-22, totaling $122 million. Statutory earnings rose by 3% to $111 million for the year, despite a 7.7% decrease in revenue to $3.48 billion.
The underlying gross profit increased by 6% to $1.0 billion, with the underlying gross profit margin improving by 170 basis points to 29.3% from 2021-22. Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization stood at $438 million, down 2%.
Consequently, the company will distribute an unfranked final dividend of 5 cents per share, compared to 6 cents in the previous year, resulting in a consistent total dividend of 10 cents per share for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Nufarm CEO Greg Hunt expressed satisfaction with the results, attributing them to the company’s transformed structure and growing focus on innovative solutions. He emphasized the diverse portfolio, geographic reach, and potential for growth in omega 3 and bioenergy platforms.
Hunt noted that global conditions were challenging in FY23 but highlighted a 4% growth in underlying EBITDA during the second half of FY23 and only a 2% decline for the full year. The company made substantial progress in key growth initiatives and maintained confidence in achieving its FY26 revenue goals.
Hunt remained positive about the company’s outlook, citing tight global grain and oilseed stocks-to-use ratios, attractive grain prices, and strong demand for crop protection products. He anticipated continued momentum in new crop protection product launches, robust growth in Seed Technologies, and a return to growth in the second half of fiscal 24. The company remained on track to meet its FY26 revenue targets.