Freedom Foods looks for Asian partner

Mr Macleod said the strong growth at Pactum would not only lead to increase sales and profitability - with more opportunities in private label and domestic branded products - but also help strengthen its links with Asia. "The investment in Pactum Dairy Group provides a material opportunity to increase exposure to the growing demand for high quality and safe dairy products from South East Asia, including China. "We see that as an opportunity to leverage Freedom’s uniqueness and capability. Freedom held cash of $4. 8 million as of June 30, with total borrowings of $9. 8 million.

Managing director Rory Macleod said the company hoped its cereals arm can replicate its Pactum Dairy operation - which produces long-life milk for one of China‘s biggest dairy companies, Bright Foods. Freedom posted an 11. 6 per cent slide in net profit to $12. 1 million in the 12 months to June 30.

It has room to further strengthen its balance sheet with its 17. 9 per cent stake in a2 Milk worth $70 million, which Mr Macleod said was "materially above" the book value of $10. 6 million. "While the company intends to maintain a strategic shareholding in the medium term, it will retain the option to realise capital from the investment to support growth opportunities".

Read more here: SMH


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