Fonterra's full-year earnings are expected to reflect the upbeat outlook for the dairy sector it set out in a recent update to the market.
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Fonterra optimistic year-end profits 'at top end' of expectations
Photo: Photo / AFP

The dairy co-operative will report its 2022 financial result this week, with earnings expected to be at the top end of its underlying profit guidance range of between 25 and 35 cents a share.

Jarden’s head of research Arie Dekker said the market was not expecting any surprises.

“In terms of FY 22, they’ve given pretty specific guidance at the top end of the range, and within more recently, sort of guiding to a very large uplift in FY 23 on strong stream returns.”

Dekker said it would also be interesting to see how well parts of the business were tracking.

“Obviously, ingredients is going to dominate the result, but it will still be interesting to see how the food services and consumer businesses have fared in what has been a tougher environment for them.”

Fonterra’s 2023 full-year guidance was for profit in a range of 45 to 60 cents a share, compared with earlier guidance of 30 to 45 cents per share.

“The demand signals we saw at the end of FY22 have continued driving improved prices and higher margins across our portfolio of non-reference products, particularly in cheese and our protein products such as casein,” Hurrell said in the recent market update.

“We see strong underlying demand and the latest lift in whole milk powder prices on GDT (global dairy trade) is also a positive signal reversing the recent easing in the prices that drive our Farmgate Milk Price (paid out to farmers).”

Dekker said Fonterra’s progress on its divestment plans would also be of interest.

“We’ll be interested to see how Chile is going both operationally but in terms of the sale process there.

“And also Australia, it will be interesting to see if they have some more detail on the strategic review they’ve been doing with that asset.”

Fonterra recently reported it was looking to get the best possible result for shareholders.

“Hence, Fonterra will take time to ensure the best outcomes from these processes and remains confident on delivering on its intention to return around $1 billion of capital to Fonterra shareholders and unit holders by FY24,” the company said in its interim report released earlier this year.

China’s dairy imports have slowed amid rolling Covid lockdowns and a weakening economy that has many analysts slashing their 2022 and 2023 economic growth estimates for the country.

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