AA Co shareholders probe dividend, Livingstone plant’s future during AGM questions


Jon Condon, Beef Central (Australia)



Any publicly-listed company’s annual general meeting where just three shareholder questions are asked of the board can be seen as a measure contentment over company direction and performance.


The 2022 AGM held by the Australian Agricultural Co yesterday attracted only the most cursory shareholder scrutiny, and one of the questions asked was the perennial, ever-hopeful inquiry about shareholder dividends. AA Co has famously failed to deliver a dividend to shareholders for the past 15 years.


This year’s AGM was held both live in Brisbane, and via teleconference. Financial results for the company’s 2021-22 financial year were delivered earlier – click here to view.


Shareholder Hugh Major asked the board what the company intended to do with its mothballed Livingstone beef processing plant near Darwin.


Live exports out of northern Australia have halved this year, suggesting there might be more cows and younger cattle available for slaughter.


“Livingstone is currently being maintained in a suspended state, which would allow us to restart the facility efficiently when feasible,” chairman Don McGauchie said.


“But current market conditions are not conducive to restarting the asset, and we are exploring   opportunities at the site to add additional value to the business,” he said.


Shareholder Max Cullen asked where the live export class action against former Labor Agriculture minister Bill Ludwig was up to.


Mr McGauchie again confirmed that AA Co was a member of the class action,, and was actively pursuing its claim for compensation. In June this year, the Federal Court found in favour of the Brett Cattle Co, the lead applicant over the matter...


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