Australia Markets closed

GrainCorp makes strong start to FY13

GrainCorp chief Alison Watkins says the company has had a good start to fiscal 2013 with a smooth harvest and strong export demand.

Ms Watkins told GrainCorp's annual general meeting on Thursday that while it was too early to issue an earnings forecast the year was going well so far.

She said she was very comfortable with the crop forecast and the rate of receivables.

"We've seen a relatively smooth harvest with grain coming into our bins and strong export demand for our grain," she said.

Ms Watkins said the grain so far was of a good quality and the company forecasted receivables of 10 to 11 million tonnes and bulk grain exports of 8.0 to 8.5 million tonnes.

Chairman Don Taylor also told shareholders that GrainCorp has not been distracted by the attention of US food processing giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

ADM has recently lodged two takeover offers for GrainCorp, both of which have been rejected.

ADM first offered $2.7 million in October, and lifted its offer to $2.78 billion earlier in December after Graincorp said the first offer was too low.

But GrainCorp has also rejected the improved offer.

Mr Taylor said both offers undervalued the company, but he did not rule out further talks.

"I want to emphasise that the board has been totally focused on shareholder interests at all times," he said.

"The board remains focused on maximising value for shareholders and will be constructive in any dealings in relation to proposals that may have the potential to maximise shareholder value."

The company remains focused on new initiatives outlined in November to increase earnings and shareholder value, he said.