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Fonterra Raises Payout Forecast to $3.95

Fonterra Co-operative Group today announced a 15 cent increase to $3.95 for its forecast payout for the current season.

Advising shareholders at the co-operative annual meeting, Chairman Henry van der Heyden said the Fonterra Board had met this morning and based the forecast decision on revised forecasts produced by the management team "and their very real determination to achieve this higher payout."

"I am sure the increase will be welcomed by farmers, as will the real commitment of the management team."

The meeting, broadcast from Hawera to six venues, was Fonterra's shareholders first opportunity to meet the new CEO, Andrew Ferrier, who took up his position on September 1.

Expressing his support for the co-operative model, Mr Ferrier said he felt there were four basic rules that had to be followed to generate shareholder wealth.

"First recognise our people are our greatest asset. Second practise operational excellence in everything you do. Third move up the value chain wherever possible. Fourth, be totally customer focused. I see nothing in those rules that does not apply to Fonterra."

Mr Ferrier commented that while he was new to dairy, he was not new to understanding what shareholders deemed as success. "It comes down to two words, higher payout. My job is to set the performance goals I want to see achieved in this business and to support the management team as they get on with the job of delivering on these goals.

"The team is focused on maximising efficiencies, maximising revenues and value added earnings and minimising our costs."

Fonterra's Peak Notes system will remain in place following shareholders' rejection of an alternative Capacity Adjustment proposal put to today's Annual Meeting of the Co-operative in Hawera.

The vote was 68 per cent in favour but failed to reach the required 75 per cent.

The Capacity Adjustment proposal, that would have simplified the Co-operative's capital structure into one instrument, and applied an adjustment to the milk price to reflect use of peak processing capacity, was not accepted by shareholders and Peak Notes will remain in place.

Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden said the Capacity Adjustment proposal had been developed following feedback from shareholders and a request from the Shareholders' Council.




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