Discuss about the Bega Cheese Limited for Australian Stock Exchange.
The report discusses about Bega Cheese Limited’s performance for the financial year ending 30th June 2015. It is an Australian company, listed in the Australian Stock Exchange and basically indulged into the manufacturing of Cheese and other milk products. It is owned by the Bega Co-operative Society Limited and it exports its cheese across the globe. The same is also available in all the super markets of Australia under the brand name Fonterra. The company operates in two segments – cheese and the Tatura Milk. The cheese section manufactures processed cheese, powdered cheese and butter whereas the Milk segment manufacturers cream cheese, butter powder and nutritionals. Bega Cheese Limited is also involved into contract packaging. Presently it has 1650 people employed.
The Australian diary industry has seen a major downfall in the current year in discussion but however even then Bega Cheese Limited has succeeded in generating profits for their investors. Presently it is the nutritional segment of the business which is much more profitable. The market has become ripe recently for the said segment but the foundation of the same had been laid down two decades ago. In the year 1993, the company had set up its first spray drying plant at Tatura which would produce in huge quantities childhood nutritional powder. The company has come a long way since simply due to its long run relationships ad collaborations with various business partners. One such example is the partnership with Megmilk Snow who had setup a canning plant right next to its Tatura plant in the same year. They would convert the bulk milk powder produced for the infants into retail ready products by packing it in such a manner and then would export it to the Asian market. The said plant is still operative.
Since the Asian market for nutritionals were growing at a very fast pace, the company decided to set up a second dryer in 2002 and further upgraded the same after six long years. Further to this the said upgradation led to signing of a long ten year contract with Mead Johnson so much that now they have employed permanent employees at Tatura. The company grew larger when it realised that it should now have its own packing set up. In the year 2014 it commissioned the Derimut powder and canning facility plant with state of the art packing and blending technology and got the registration from the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China which opened the export market of China for Bega Cheese Limited (Bloomberg.com., 2016).
In the year 2015, the company announced its partnership with Blackmores as Bemore Partnership wherein it introduced a whole new range of nutritional products for Asian as well as Australian Markets. China has been the main focus for the group since as per the statistics the market of China is the largest in the world. The next market which Bega Cheese Limited eyes at is that of Indonesia since it expected the island to grow due to high fertility rate and a younger population. The company has not only been focussing on the younger generation but has also been focussing upon the senior citizen population as well.
Lastly the company has been off lately concentrating upon the branding of its company products. Fonterra being the oldest of all. The group presently has Bega, Tatura, Royal Victoria. Melbourne and Dairymont as its major brands. Its main focus for the next five years would be on ensuring an increase in the milk solids intake and the increasing returns from milk and increased acquisition activities in the field of diary technology, milk operations and such other diary products market development. Even though the global diary market in the short run is expected to be depressing yet the same is very fruitful in the medium and long run. Thus Bega Cheese Limited, one of the oldest cheese and diary products brand in Australia is growing slowly yet steadily as it believes in mixing experience and industry knowledge with newer methodologies and ideas (Bega Cheese Limited Annual Report 2015).
Statement Of Financial Position As On 30th June 2015
The balance sheet of any company details about the asset-liability position of an entity as on a particular date. It also inks down the summary of the balances of the various accounts such as sundry debtors, sundry creditors, inventories, investments etc. Thus in simpler terms one can say that the said statement reveals the position of the shareholder’s fund of the entity which is just a difference between the assets and the liabilities of a company (Barber, & Lyon. 1996).
The financial statement of Bega Cheese Limited as on 30th June 2015 indicates the company’s current, non current asset and liability position and the equity status of the company for the present as well as the previous year. On analysing the financial statement of Bega Cheese Limited as on 30th June 2015 the following data is derived
- Total Current Asset: $328589
- Total Non-current Asset: $223830
- Total Current Liabilities: $179287
- Total Non-Current Liabilities: $60466
- Total Stockholder’s Equity: $312666
On comparing the above data with that of the previous year the following conclusions are derived:
- The current assets reported in the previous year was $321541. There has been a s to $light increase in the current asset since then by just 2.19% (Approx). It is this section of the balance sheet which indicates the liquidity position of any entity. There has been significant increase in the current asset position of Bega Cheese Limited which clearly indicates that the liquidity position has not diminished and has been maintained at a consistent level so that the company does not have to face the brim of liquidity crunch. Thus it is working safe with regards its liquid asset position.
- However the non current assets of the company has decreased from $227096 to $223830 which is very insignificant in nature. The decrease is due to impairment loss being recorded apart from depreciation loss and some minor sale of assets. However the said change is not too striking and thus the company is still working with a very strong asset base. It clearly shows that it believes in building a strong asset base as it is a highly industrialised segment (Vitez, 2014).
- Although the current liability position of the company is at a positive stance wherein their has been a significant decrease of the sane from $212170 to $179287, yet the company has seen to increase its short term borrowing cost significantly from $20588 to $68974 which would put in a pressure on the interest component and thus the profitability of the concern. However overall there is a decrease of 15.50% (Approx) which is very impressive.
- The non current liabilities position is very saddening as there is a significant increase of a 173.86% (Approx) since the previous year which is very alarming as it would have an influence in the profit and loss of the company due to an increasing interest cost. The long term borrowings has increased from $20000 to $ 57500. Howsoever such a borrowing will definitely hep the company to expand in future but it should keep a track of the same and try to repay the loans at the earliest so as to better the profits of the company (White et.al. 2002).
- There has been significant movement in the shareholder’s equity of Bega Cheese Limited but for the reserves section. There has been no new issue of shares thus the ownership is not diluted further. A minor decrease of 0.55% has taken place due to gain or loss in the hedging instruments which directly hits the equity capital of the company and the decrease in the fair value of the shares that are to be issued to the employees of the company (Harper, 2010).
On analysing the financial position of the company it is very clear that the company is working in a very healthy condition and even though in the year 2015 it has taken significant loans both short as well as long term yet the company is a profitable one and a lucrative one from an investor’s point of view. It has also been a dividend paying company and in the current year also it has been able to pay a dividend of 8.5 cents per share which is similar to what was paid previous year. The same is remarkable as even after there was a dip in the global commodity prices the company maintained at least the previous year’s dividend amount. Further the report discusses some other important ratios as well which would help the investors to decide more accurately about their investment stances (Zions business resource center, 2005).
Ratio Analysis Of Various Items Of The Balance Sheet
Type Of Ratio 2015 2014
Current Ratio 1.83 1.51
Quick Ratio 0.72 0.65
Debt to inventory ratio 0.92 1.15
Debt to capital ratio 0.12 0.04
Debt to equity ratio 0.77 0.75
An ideal current ratio is 1 and in the said company’s scenario the current ratio is at its best. In fact it has bettered since last year by 0.30 basis points approximately. This clearly shows that the company can easily pay off its current liabilities with the current assets it has in hand. The quick ratio has also improved thus indicating that its liquidity position is very strong (Lan, 2012).
The solvency ratios are of importance for the company due to increase in the borrowed funds. In comparison to the previous year there has not been a significant increase i the company’s debt equity ratio which is a positive sign thus entailing that the company has been able to maintain the proportion between owned and borrowed funds on a consistent basis. Lastly a company’s debt to capital ratio is of utmost importance to determine the financial leverage of the company. On viewing the data above it is clear that the financial leverage of the company has deteriorated significantly (Das et.al.1998) .
Stockholder’s Equity As On 30th June 2015
As per the AASB 101, all companies listed in the ASX are required to publish a statement of changes in equity and so is Bega Cheese Limited. Thus the various components of the said statement presented in the annual report of Bega Cheese Limited is enumerated as under:
- There has been an issue of fresh ordinary shares by the company under the long term incentive scheme. Thus the number of ordinary shares issued is 357 in the current year as compared to 380 in the previous year. Thus showing a slight dilution in the ownership.
- However it is very evident that the cost of capital is very low as it refers to borrow funds instead of raising new capital which a more costlier affair. Issuing of shares under incentive plan does not call for much costs.
- The share based payment reserve has decreased significantly from $811 to $94 due to a change in the fair value of the shares which are yet to be issued to the employees of the company (Penman, 2006).
- The capital profit reserve is intact without any changes at all.
- The hedging reserve is another area which has dipped significantly. This shows that the loss with regards the hedging transactions has increased significantly thus lowering the reserves of the company (Bajkowski, 1999).
- Lastly there has been no acquisition of non-controlling interest in Tatura Milk by Bega Cheese limited in the year 2015.
Statement Of Profit And Loss As On 30th June 2016
The data derived from the income statement of a company which enables to provide the investors and the owners of a company, how well it is performing as compared to the previous year’s performance is mentioned below:
Particulars 2015 (in $’000) 2014 (in $’000)
Total Operating revenues 1112630 1069392
Cost of Goods Sold 991538 942455
Total Expenses (before income taxes) (1104234) (1053067)
Non-Operating gain or loss 8038 77255
Earnings per common share 8.1 43.2
The income statement of Bega Cheese Limited shows that there has been a decline in the profitability of the company as compared to the previous year’s figures. There has been a slight increase in the operating revenue figures of the company by just 4.04% but the same is not appreciable as the cost of goods sold has also increased and in higher proportions due to which the gross profit dipped by 4.61%. As compared to previous year the performance of the company has not been very lucrative. It has rather been very alarming as the profit for the year has significantly come down by 81% approximately (Stickney et.al. 2007). The expenses of the company has not increased very significantly but the income from the joint venture has dipped by 78% and the other income has also dipped by 98% but the same is still not a matter of concern for Bega Cheese Limited as in the year 2014 the company had earned significant profits on selling its investments in the WCB shares which is a one time profit. Because of the same the EPS is to dip but the dividend distributed is constant (Wild et.al. 2006).
Over and above the same a ratio analysis will enable us to get a better overview of the company.
Type of ratio 2015 2014
Gross Profit Margin 0.11 0.12
Net Profit Margin 0.01 0.06
Return on Assets 0.02 0.12
Return on Equity 0.04 0.21
The above ratios make it clear that the company is presently working at a constant rate wherein the gross profit margin remains unaffected. The net profit margin has fluctuated simply because the company had earned a one time income via the sale of its investment. Due to the same the ROA and the ROE has also improved significantly. However it is very clear that the company has been performing in a stagnant manner and there is no significant increase in the revenue from the major operating classes of Bega Cheese Limited. Reasons are basically a change in the commodity prices (Grimsley, 2003). However it would not be right to conclude that the income statement is showing a dismal picture.
Statement Of Cash Flow As On 30th June 2015
On studying the cash flow position of Bega Cheese Limited the following data is extracted:
Particulars 2015 2014
Net Cash flow from Operating Activities (17345) 40474
Net Cash Flow from Investing Activities (36416) 67935
Net Cash Flow from financing Activities 35415 (102477)
Net increase / (decrease) in cash during the year (18346) 5932
A cash flow statement is a mandatory statement which all entities have to prepare who have listed themselves with the ASX. It simply shows how the company has utilised its cash and cash equivalents which carrying out operating, investing as well as financing activities. Therefore this statement guides the investor to analyse whether the entity has been able to generate any cash from its operating activities so as to be able to meet its working capital requirements and whether it has the ability to pay dividends. As a result the organization is able to arrive at a conclusion whether it has generated enough cash from operating expenses so as to meet its working capital requirements (Fridson, & Alvarez, 2011). Next is the cash from investing activities which connotes the amount of investments made by the company as well as disposed in the current year. Thus investing activities basically enables to generate cash in future by investing in fixed assets etc. Therefore a negative cash from such an activity more desirable. Lastly is the section from financing activates which clearly shows how much cash has been generated by the issue of shares and the borrowed funds.
The cash flow statement of Bega Cheese Limited clearly shows that the company’s operating activities needs a review as it is running into negative for the year 2015. The previous year had reported a good amount of positive cash flow from operating activities however the same should be revisited by the management (Siddiqui, 2014).
The year 2015, the company has made various investments into fixed assets and has also paid a huge amount of tax with regards the sale of shares in the listed company. Howsoever it is a positive sign to have a negative cash from investing activities which is very lucrative from the investors point of view as well. Last year it had a positive amount of $67935, however this year the table seems to be turned upside down and the company has made investments in the revenue generating assets which would further add to the operating revenue of the company in future. Lastly the company’s cash flow from financing activities has been very alarming since it has borrowed a huge amount in the current year which has in lieu also got increased interest expense burden along with the same. It should try to keep a check on the same else the company may get burdened in future (Shelton, 2012).
Thus on a concluding note it is very clear that though Bega Cheese Limited has been posing profits on a year on year basis and has also given good dividends yet it needs to tighten certain financial areas. Its profits are very dynamic in nature and so is the cash flow statement. The most alarming is the same and Bega Cheese needs to concentrate upon the various components of the cash flow statement specially the operating and the financing activities. It is not utilising tis cash judiciously.
The financial position of the company as on 30th June 2015 is however intact and its assets and liabilities are well balanced so as not to affect the liquidity position. This is one of the optimistic views which the investors can take while thinking to invest. If the operating income of the company is analysed in detail then it is understood that the company has been able to fight all the commodity price reductions very carefully so as not to affect its operating income significantly. But one alarming point is a check upon the operating expenses. The proportion between the revenue and expenses is not being maintained which is affecting the profit margins. Thus over all the company’s performance is appreciable as it has always worked towards extracting something extra out of its resources. The company even knows how to sail through uncertain and dynamic environment.
My recommendation to the prospective investors would be to kindly give a wait to the investments. They should watch the performance of the company for the year 2016 before putting in their hard earned money as it is very important to see how judiciously Bega Cheese Limited has utilised its borrowed funds and whether it has been able to do interest servicing without affecting the profits of the company. The dividend distribution amount should also be watched for the year 2016 although it seems that the company believes in rewarding its investors every year irrespective of its performance.
The present investors should hold their investments as in future it may ripe positive results as the company’s views and future prospects are very bright. It is very hopeful of expanding substantially and is continuously on the verge of entering into new markets, joint ventures and partnerships. The company’s belief in moving ahead with experience and newer ideas and innovative methods is what seems to make it more lucrative for the investors to invest. However another watch for a year is recommended for the prospective investors.
Barber, B.M., & Lyon. J.D., (1996). Detecting abnormal operating performance: The empirical power and specification of test statistics. Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 41, pp. 359–399.
Bajkowski, J., (1999), Financial Statement Analysis : A Look at the Balance Sheet, AAII Journal, Available at, https://www.aaii.com/journal/article/financial-statement-analysis-a-look-at-the-balance-sheet (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Bega Cheese Limited Annual Report 2015., (2015), Bega Cheese Limited Annual Report 2015, Available at https://www.begacheese.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/04-2015-ANNUAL-REPORT.pdf (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Bloomberg.com., (2016), Company overview of Bega Cheese Limited, Available at https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=5440962 (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Das, S., C. Levine, and K. Sivaramakrishnan. 1998. Earnings predictability and bias in analysts’ earnings forecasts. The Accounting Review , pp. 277–294.
Fridson, M.S., & Alvarez, F.,( 2011), Financial Statement Analysis : A Practitioner’s Guide, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons: USA
Grimsley,S., (2003), Profitability Ratio : Definition , Formula , Analysis & Example, Available at , https://study.com/academy/lesson/profitability-ratio-definition-formula-analysis-example.html (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Harper, D., (2010), Advanced Financial Statement Analysis, Available at https://i.investopedia.com/inv/pdf/tutorials/financialstatements.pdf (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Lan, J., (2012), 16 Financial Ratios for Analysing a Company’s Strengths and Weaknesses, AAII Journals, Available at https://www.aaii.com/journal/article/16-financial-ratios-for-analyzing-a-companys-strengths-and-weaknesses.touch (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Penman, S.H. (2006). Financial statement analysis and security valuation, 3rd edition. McGrawHill Irwin Robinson, T.R., Greuning, H.V., Henry, E., & Broihahn, M.A., 2009, International Financial Statement Analysis, John Wiley & Sons Inc: USA
Shelton, M.V., (2012), Evaluating a Statement of Cash Flows, Available at https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1012/evaluating-a-statement-of-cash-flows.aspx (Accessed 21st September 2016)
Stickney, C.P., Brown, P.R., and Wahlen.J.M., (2007). Financial reporting, financial statement analysis, and valuation, 6th edition. Thomson South-Western.
Siddiqui, F., (2014), Financial Analysis : A short note on tools and techniques of Financial Analysis, Available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806181716-59817714-financial-analysis-a-short-note-on-tools-and-techniques-of-financial-analysis (Accessed 14th October 2016)
Vitez, O., (2014), Financial Statement Analysis Tool, Available at https://smallbusiness.chron.com/financial-statement-analysis-tools-3776.html (Accessed 21st September 2016)
White, G.I., Sondhi,A.C., & Fried,D., (2002). The analysis and use of financial statements, 3rd edition. Wiley
Wild, J.J., Subramanyam,K.R., & Halsey, R.F., (2006), Financial statement analysis, 9th edition. McGraw-Hill Irwin
Zions business resource center, (2005), How to Analyse your business using financial ratios. Available at https://www.zionsbank.com/pdfs/biz_resources_book-6.pdf (Accessed 14th October 2016)