SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Positive performance by the Crop Production Contract (PCP), improved grains and international trading businesses and increased oilseed crushing buoyed GrainCorp’s 2020 results.

GrainCorp’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the 2020 year ended Sept. 3, 2020, were A$108 million, which compared with a loss of A$107 million in 2019.

Despite another year of drought, Robert Spurway, managing director and chief executive officer of GrainCorp, said the company continues its operational initiatives and providing more consistent, stable earnings.

“The most significant drivers in the year were the positive impact from the Crop Production Contract, improved performance from our East Coast of Australia (ECA) grains and international trading businesses, and stronger oilseed crush volumes and margins,” Spurway said. “The company has a strong balance sheet and is in a privileged position with a high-quality, integrated network of infrastructure assets to receive and export the much larger crop currently in harvest across ECA.”

Ian Morrison, chief financial officer of GrainCorp, noted receiving a total gross payment of A$58 million from the first year of CPC due to reduced harvest size. The ECA business continued to be impacted by drought.

“Throughout the year, the business continued to import grain from other states to manage east coast grain deficits, although these transshipments slowed in the second half as expectations for the 2020-21 crop improved,” Morrison said. “It is pleasing to see improvements in performance right across the business and the benefits being delivered from our capital investments and operating initiatives.”

GrainCorp also was challenged with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in ensuring its services safely and efficiently as it was classified as an essential business.

GrainCorp continued to operate throughout the pandemic across all business units and introduced digital solutions, including CropConnect and FastWeigh, to allow for safer and more efficient contactless processes at all receival sites for the 2020-21 winter harvest.

Looking ahead, GrainCorp is anticipating stronger earnings in fiscal year 2021 due to the expected larger EC winter crop.

In Agribusiness, GrainCorp expects improved growing conditions and said current receival year to date indicate a strong 2020-21 winter crop, similar to fiscal year 2017 size.