German company BayWa has reported positive figures for its fruit trading activities, which incorporate apple production and exports from its home country as well as the international network operated by its New Zealand subsidiary T&G.
Annual results published for 2015 included fresh produce trade revenue of €567.4m, up slightly from €563.9m in the previous year, as well as a notable 31 per cent increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to €27.0m.
The group attributed earnings growth primarily to the marketing of a record apple harvest in New Zealand where Apollo Apples Limited, the producer-exporter it acquired in late 2014, made its first contribution to the group’s financial results.
Overall, despite facing continued difficulties in the German agricultural sector, BayWa was able to post higher total EBIT of €158.1m (compared with €152.1m in 2014).
The improvement was said to be largely the result of an “exceptionally good result” achieved in BayWa’s renewable energy business as well as the continued internationalisation of its agriculture operations.
Revenues, meanwhile, fell by 1.8 per cent to €14.9bn, from €15.2bn during the previous 12 months, in part due to a decline in the price of raw materials sold by other parts of the group.
“Lower producer prices, a lack of willingness to sell inventories, a lower inclination among farmers in Germany to invest and increased logistics costs due to low water levels caused by dry weather conditions unfortunately prevented us from achieving an even better result last year,” said chief executive Klaus Josef Lutz.
“Despite these adverse circumstances, we turned in a good performance,” he added.