Bega shares jump on first half results

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Australia, News

Bega Cheese announced a lift in earnings and profits in the first half of 2023. Revenue rose 3.2% YOY to $1.73bn with normalised EBITDA lifting 2.6% YOY to $76.5m and normalised profits rose to $13.3m, up from $9.4m the year before. Normalised earnings per share rose 42% to 4.4c per share. Net debt was $250.9m as at 24 December 2023, down by $70.5m from the year before.

Bega cited strong performance in brands, with revenue growth of 8% in its branded business driven by both volume and value growth. Annual value growth in retail sales of milk-based beverages was 10.8% in H1 to $979m, while yogurt sales rose 11.5% to $1,831m. Fresh white milk retail sales totaled lifted 7.7% to $2,218m.  The branded results in H1 offset falling EBITDA (down 16% YOY) in Bega’s bulk segment compared to the prior year.

Bega maintained its full-year outlook and expects normalised EBITDA of $160m – $170m. Cost-out and efficiency programs continue while Bega sees further opportunity in innovation and market share in its branded business. The company’s shares jumped 50c to $4.05 per share in early trading Thursday morning following the announcement.

Meanwhile, Bega has announced it is closing the Burnie Betta Milk factory. The site was part of Bega’s acquisition of Betta Milk and Meander Valley Dairy brands from TasFoods Limited in December 2023. 

Bega is moving operations in Tasmania to its existing factory outside Hobart. Around 50 jobs will be lost in distribution and the factory. Bega chairman Barry Irvin said more safety and environmental concerns had come to light since Bega took over the aging factory, prompting the closure.