BEIJING--(Marketwire -02/21/12)- Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO - News) (the "Company" or "Agria"), a China-based agricultural company with operations in seeds in China and internationally and in agri-services, announced that its New Zealand listed subsidiary, PGG Wrightson Limited (NewZealand: PGW.NZ - News), further improved its operating performance, reporting a 55% increase in earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) for the six months to 31 December 2011 of NZ$22.0 million compared to NZ$14.2 million in December 2010. Revenue for the six months to 31 December 2011 was NZ$693.8 million compared with NZ$616.9 million for the six months ended 31 December 2010. Results are for the first six months of PGG Wrightson's fiscal year.
Mr. Xie Tao, Agria Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, said, "The impressive improvement in profitability underscores the strength of the company's business, management's execution, and our continued optimistic business outlook. It should also be noted that the second half of the fiscal year is typically stronger, normally accounting for almost two-thirds of the AgriTech operation's full year earnings."
George Gould, PGG Wrightson's Managing Director, said that PGG Wrightson's improved operating results were led by increased profitability in its livestock, retail and real estate operations. The Company's AgriTech operations, which include seeds, grain and nutrition, remained relatively stable with last year.
"Overall, PGG Wrightson's operating profitability has improved as the Company successfully executes its business strategy of offering high quality service and products to its farmer clients throughout New Zealand, Australia and South America."
Mr. Gould further noted that PGG Wrightson's improved financial position reflects the sale of its finance company and that it would now benefit from lower debt servicing costs.
Net profit after tax (NPAT) was NZ$3.1 million, compared with a loss of NZ$5.9 million for the equivalent period last year.
A copy of PGG Wrightson's results for the six months to 31 December 2011 can be found at www.pggwrightson.co.nz
About Agria Corporation
Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO - News) is a China-based agriculture company with operations in China and internationally. In China, we engage in research and development, production and sale of seed products, including field corn seeds, edible corn seeds and vegetable seeds. We own through Agria Asia a 50.22% equity interest in PGG Wrightson, New Zealand's largest agricultural services company. PGG Wrightson reported turnover of NZ$1.2 billion (US$1.0 billion) for the 12 months ended June 30, 2011. For more information about PGG Wrightson, please visit www.pggwrightson.co.nz. For more information about Agria Corporation, please visit www.agriacorp.com.
Safe Harbor Statement:
This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements, including the management's commentary, are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "confident" and similar statements. Agria may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Forms 20-F and 6-K, etc., in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Agria's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those risks outlined in Agria's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this announcement unless otherwise stated and Agria does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.