PGG Wrightson is optimistic about the prospects for its trading performance for the year ahead, forecasting a similar result to the previous year. In an update to the market, chief executive Ian Glasson said the rural services company was forecasting full-year operating ebitda to June 30, 2019, of about $70 million. It was “early days”, as the first quarter was traditionally a quiet trading period and there had been a late start to spring. However, activity had picked up during October. While it was too early to forecast net profit after tax with accuracy, the company had previously announced that — upon a successful completion of the seed and grain business during FY2019 — it would expect a net capital gain of more than $120 million which would flow through NPAT. In August, PGW announced it intended selling its seed and grain business to Denmark-based DLF Seeds for $421 million. The company’s retail and water group produced an “outstanding” result in FY2018 and slightly improved operating ebitda was expected this year, Mr Glasson said. Indicators suggested the horticulture sector’s impressive performance was set to continue and it was expected the livestock and wool businesses would continue to perform well. However, the rural real estate market had softened since mid-2017, he said. Documentation for a combined special meeting and the 2018 annual meeting of shareholders, on October 30 in Christchurch, would be sent to shareholders this week.