New Zealand’s Fonterra Friday sought more time to finalize its annual outcomes, adding to skepticism around the dairy titan’s scope after it took massive write-downs and calculated its worst-ever loss.
The world’s largest dairy exporter is below the scrutiny of New Zealand’s monetary regulator after it shocked markets in August with a write-down of up to NZ$860 million ($550 million) for its assets in Brazil, China, and other international locations, and said it was on track to publish an annual loss of as up to NZ$675 million. It further mentioned it would not give a dividend this year.
Fonterra was about to report results on Sept. 12; however, said due to the number of write-downs, its accountant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, needed additional time to audit the financial statements.
The earnings were anticipated to provide clarity on the exact levels of the write-downs to date, and steering on Fonterra’s future strategy.
In a tweet following the declaration, Fonterra’s staff said nothing unusual had led to the change of date; however, the regular auditing process was taking longer than usual.
Industry specialists and analysts think Fonterra might have to write down extra assets.
Fonterra has maintained that the write-downs were consistent with market disclosure obligations and that its financial statements have been separately audited.
Losses in the 2018 financial year caused Fonterra to start a global evaluation to evaluate how each of its assets and joint ventures supported the corporate’s strategy and if they were hitting their targets for return on capital.