Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Fonterra has reported a $501 million half-year profit on lower costs and improved revenue.

The result compares to a profit of $72m the previous year.

The co-operative’s underlying profit was $584 million – up 87 percent on the previous year.

Fonterra has been selling assets, paying down debt, cutting costs and axing jobs to turn around the business after major losses.

Chief executive Miles Hurrell said he was pleased with the progress and momentum Fonterra had achieved in the first six months of the financial year, but it was now operating in a very different global context as a result of Covid-19.

“Our underlying earnings are tracking well at the half year, but there is no doubt that we have a number of risks that are outside our control in the second half – in particular, the potential impact of Covid-19 on global demand, geo-political risks in key markets such as Hong Kong and Chile, and ongoing dry weather conditions here in New Zealand which could impact collections and potentially input costs,” he said.

“As a result, we have held our forecast earnings range at 15-25 cents per share.”

The cooperative has maintained the farmgate milk price forecast in a range of $7 and $7.60.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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