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Genus profits rise even as African Swine Fever in China hurts pig business

Revenue from the porcine business was flat even though there were fewer animal shipments in China as African Swine Fever killed pigs

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Genus said African Swine Fever would continue to impact pig volumes in China in the short term. 

Animal genetics firm Genus PLC (LON:GNS) reported a 4% rise in profit for the year despite the impact of an outbreak of African Swine Fever in China.

In the year to 30 June, adjusted pre-tax profit increased to £61.0mln from £58.5mln a year ago and revenue rose 4% to £488.5mln, led higher by a 40% jump in sales of bovine semen.

Revenue from the porcine business, which sells breeding males, females and semen, was flat even though there were fewer animal shipments in China as African Swine Fever killed pigs.

Genus said African Swine Fever would continue to impact pig volumes in China in the short term.  While the company expects “some improvement” in the 2020 financial year, fuller restocking is more likely in the following year.

Nevertheless, the group said it expects to deliver “further strategic and financial progress” in 2020.

"We have a clear strategy and business model that is yielding good results. Having been with Genus for a number of years, I am excited at the prospect of leading our company and continuing to execute on our strategic and financial objectives,” said Stephen Wilson, who was promoted from financial director to chief executive last month.

Wilson is due to take over the reins from Karim Bitar on 13 September. Bitar is leaving to join British medical devices maker ConvaTec Group PLC as its new boss.

The group raised its dividend by 7% to 27.7p.

Quick facts: Genus plc

Price: 3186 GBX

LSE:GNS
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £2.07 billion
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