New Zealand's biggest farmer, state-owned Landcorp has made a net loss of $11 million for the year.

The company, which trades as Pamu, exceeded its earlier earnings forecast guidance by $2m, but earnings were still $14m down on FY18 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and revaluations (Ebitdar).

Ebitdar for the year to June 30 was $34m, compared to $48m the previous financial year.

The company forecast in May that ebitdar would be $10m down at between $27m and $32m, drawing the wrath of Associate SOE and Finance Minister Shane Jones.

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Landcorp chairman Dr Warren Parker and chief executive Steven Carden blamed a marked drop in milk production due to dry summer and autumn weather for the earnings fall.

The company will pay a special dividend to the Government of $5m, supported by the one-off gain from the sale of its shares in the Westland Dairy Cooperative. Landcorp was a major shareholder in the financially embattled historic West Coast company, which was sold recently to Chinese conglomerate Yili.

Landcorp said the net loss of $11m was largely due to a $22m fair value loss on the valuation of livestock and forestry assets.

The company made a net profit of $34m the previous year, which included a $25m fair value gain on biological assets.

Landcorp chairman Warren Parker.
Landcorp chairman Warren Parker.

Parker, who recently took over as chairman, and Carden said the company's performance generally reflected external factors that made it another challenging year for agriculture, but Landcorp was determined to improve on the result in the current financial year.

Total revenue was down 2.4 per cent to $241m ($247m) because of lower milk, livestock and carbon credit revenues.

Carbon revenue of $3m from a recent allocation of carbon units was less than half of that received last year.

Parker said subsidiary businesses, including investments in a speciality milk dryer at Hamilton and 50 per cent joint venture Spring Sheep Dairy, were all making good progress and would be significant contributors to the company's future.

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Minister Jones said in May he was "incredibly disappointed" at Landcorp's sharply downward revised ebitdar forecast.