GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) confirmed this morning that 2021 has seen record crop results on the east coast of Australia.

The grain storage and vegetable oil processing company recorded earnings of $331 million, up from $108 million 12 months ago and a profit of $139 million.

While the latter figure was below the $343 million made last year, that figure was substantially inflated by the United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) spin off.

Graincorp handled 34.4 million metric tonnes of grain, up from 14.2 million last year.

The company credited the end of the drought for the record crop harvest and it also noted global demand for vegetable oils – for food and renewable food production remained strong.

It announced a 10 cent per share dividend and a $50 million share buyback to start next year, but also promised strategic investments that would boost earnings by $40 million by 2023/24.

Graincorp CEO Robert Spurway declared the results were exceptional, noting they were better than it had previously anticipated.

Shareholders concurred, sending shares higher by up to 5% this morning. GNC shares have gained over 70% in the last 12 months.

GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) share price chart


Xero and Ramsay report too

Also reporting today was Xero (ASX:XRO) which released results for the 6 months to September 30, 2021.

The company reported NZ$506 million in revenue and 3 million subscribers — both gains of 23% compared to the prior corresponding period.

It also increased its total subscriber lifetime value (LTV) to $9.9 billion and annualised monthly recurring revenue (AMRR) to $1.132 billion but its earnings – which were $98.1 million – fell by 19%.

Xero blamed the latter drop due to increased investment in marketing and product development after dropping them in the prior corresponding period.

But it credited the rise in other metrics to increased economic confidence since the initial onset of the pandemic as well as the move towards cloud-based software in financial services and tax compliance.

“Small businesses around the world increasingly recognise the critical importance of digital tools to help them adapt to and succeed in a changing operating environment. This is reflected in Xero’s half year performance,” said CEO Steve Vamos.

Private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) meanwhile released a trading update in which it reported a near 40% drop in quarterly profit to $58.1 million.

The company blamed elective surgery restrictions in multiple jurisdictions in Australia as well as in France and the UK as well as higher costs.

Nonetheless the company expressed hope that the worst of the disruption was over.

“While the COVID environment has continued to create significant disruption across our business, we are seeing strong underlying demand for health care services across our regions,” said CEO Craig McNally.

“Our teams will continue to support the public health sector as we transition the business to an environment where the world learns to live with COVID.”

Shares in Ramsay and Xero both went in the opposite direction to Graincorp – retreating in morning trade.

Xero (ASX:XRO) and Ramsay (ASX:RHC) share price chart