Shares of Select Harvests -Australia's largest almond grower and processor- are booming after a successful year, which the Australian nut grower attributes to a bigger than expected almond crop, firmer prices, and the shrewd navigation of an expensive water market.
Shares in the horticultural firm climbed 11.2 per cent to a three-month high of $8.04 in the first 15 minutes of trade on Friday after it revealed a $53 million full-year profit and revenue of $298.5 million. The company's stock was still 7.04 per cent higher at $7.75 by 1055 AEDT.
A switch to a September financial year-end means prior corresponding period figures were unavailable, but the company announced a fully franked final dividend of 20 cents, up from 7 cents at the last full-year result.
The company's 2019 almond harvest trumped the upgraded forecast that Select had set in August, coming in at 22,690 tonnes to beat guidance of between 22,200 to 22,500 tonnes. The firm said a higher yield, the installation of new frost-protection fans, and a $6 million sorting line also helped prop up the result.
Meanwhile, a lower than anticipated 2018 US crop, a lower Australian dollar and increased demand from China also led to an increased average market price of $8.60 per kilogram.