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Elders still in the red

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AAP

2012-11-19

Agricultural business Elders has made a $60.6 million loss but says its underlying performance is improving.

Elders' result in the year to September 30 compares to a $395.4 million loss in the previous year.

The fiscal 2012 loss was caused primarily by $75.3 million in costs related to the company's exit from its forestry business, Elders said on Monday.

Underlying profit in the year to September was $13.2 million, up 47 per cent from $9 million in the previous year.

Earnings were higher in the company's agricultural services and automotive interiors business Futuris, the company said.

Managing director Malcolm Jackman said the focus for Elders in the year ahead would be completing the sale of both its rural services and Futuris businesses while maintaining their improving performance.

The company began a sale process for the rural services business in late October, and a similar process for Futuris in August.

"It is our belief that both businesses can continue their turnaround programs in a less capital-constrained structure than we have in Elders Ltd today," Mr Jackman said in a statement.

"The sale of Futuris Automotive is now well-advanced and we've been very pleased with the extent of early interest in Elders Rural Services, which reflects the growing interest in the agricultural sector.

"It's still very early days in both sale programs but we are committed to a disciplined sale process to maximise value."