Costa Group has announced its 2015 financial results to the year ending 28 June 2015, its revenue up from A$699.08m in 2014 to A$727m in 2015.
The leading Australia horticulture company reported a pro forma net profit after tax result of A$38.3m.
Strong growth in revenue across its four key produce lines of berries, tomatoes, mushrooms and citrus drove the growth in revenue, though Costa’s EBITDA was “significantly impacted” by the A$5.2m cost associated with its initial public offering (IPO), which saw the company listed on the Australian stock exchange on 24 July.
On top of the IPO was the group’s A$1.3m start up costs for its operations in Asia, both of which saw EBITDA down from A$75.4m in 2014 to A$72.4m in 2015. Costa’s net debt rose to $38.8m due to capital expenses on growth projects.
With 75 per cent of Costa’s revenue in 2015 coming from protected cropping, the group forecasts that to rise to 80 per cent by 2016, driven by an additional 10ha of glasshouse tomatoes to begin production in October this year, and further growth across its protected berry crops to achieve a year-round supply.
“We are dedicated to continuing to bring new varieties to commercial fruition through our own blueberry breeding programme, and the joint work with other intellectual property owners in other berries and in tomatoes,” Costa MD Harry Debney said. “The goals here are to improve flavour as well as yield and also to extend seasonal availability. This quest is also enhanced through new agronomic techniques such as hydroponics and substrate production.”
Costa currently houses 30ha of glasshouse crops, seven mushroom facilities and 3,000ha planted farmland in Australia, with 24ha of blueberries in a joint venture in Morocco and an initial 68ha of blueberry and raspberry plantations in China.