The co-operative recorded a turnover of $1.7bn for the year.
Alliance chair Murray Taggart said the results reflected the co-operative’s “drive to maximise operational efficiency and focus on capturing greater market value”.
“Alliance Group has made good operational gains, sales and marketing has gathered momentum and we have continued our programme of building capability and investing in the co-operative for the long term,” he said. “Global market prices for most species were generally strong across the board. The outbreak of African Swine Fever and the subsequent culling of the Chinese pig herd led to an increase in demand for other proteins such as New Zealand beef.”
“There was also strong growth for Alliance Group in the global food service sector.”
Chief executive David Surveyor added that the performance demonstrated the company’s transformation strategy remains on track. “The 50% investment during the year in the Meateor Pet Food business aligns with our strategy of capturing more value from every product we produce.”
“Our farmers tell us they value the progress we are making to build a stronger, more profitable and sustainable business that benefits their farm businesses and wider rural communities. “Farmers made good use of our free of charge store stock facilitation service, which enables them to move lambs to other farmers for finishing.”
Other highlights for the business included investment in plant modernisation as part of its Manufacturing Excellence Programme, including upgrades at Dannevirke and Smithfield (Timaru) and a major investment in Southland with the official opening of a new venison plant in December 2018.
“We continued to lift our beef processing performance with our Levin, Mataura and Pukeuri plants processing record numbers of cattle during the 2018-19 season,” said Surveyor. “In order to progress our strategy, we have selectively added cost and invested to grow the capability of our business in areas such as food service, branding and supply chain.”
Alliance Group also reported investment in its people with plant training and supervisory programmes for almost 2,000 people. “This year, we significantly stepped up our work on critical risks, the safety issues which may result in serious injuries,” he added. “We invested in five key areas, ammonia, asbestos, traffic management, energy isolation and machine guarding.
“We also completed our programme to replace and upgrade all of our bandsaws with the new BladeStop technology, which significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries for our people.”