SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp reported on May 22 a 39% increase in net profit for the first half of the year, due to higher earnings in grain storage, handling and port activities.

The company said net profit was A$122 million for the first half of the year, compared to A$88 million at the same time last year.

GrainCorp said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were A$235 million, compared to A$173 million for the first half of 2011.

Grain receivals were down to 11.6 million tonnes from 14.4 million tonnes at the same time last year. Grain exports handled were 5 million tonnes, compared to 3.2 million tonnes in the first half of 2011.

“This is a strong result with good contributions from all parts of our business,” said GrainCorp Chief Executive Officer Alison Watkins. “Our performance during the half has benefited from higher earnings from both our grains and processing businesses, demonstrating the benefits of our strategic focus on deriving value from all points along the grain chain.”

The Country and Logistics business nearly doubled its EBITDA to A$34 million due to a record 6 million tonnes carry-in, higher storage and out-load revenues, Watkins said.

The company handled record grain exports of 5 million tonnes during the half.

“This is an excellent outcome in challenging circumstances, considering the disruption to rail and accumulation caused by the significant flooding across NSW in February and March,” Watkins said. “Marketing reported a strong first half, with higher revenue driven through the execution and delivery of almost 4 million tonnes of grain. We also grew our international presence into Europe and Canada, providing us with valuable market intelligence, insight into global grain flows and important multi-region procurement capability.”

GrainCorp revised its 2012 EBITDA up to A$385 to A$415 million and 2012 net profit to $A185 million to A$205 million.

GrainCorp’s board has confirmed an interim dividend of 15¢ and a special dividend of 15¢.