Strong performances in Seeka’s kiwifruit and avocado divisions has propelled the New Zealand-headquartered company to a net profit of NZ$10.4m for the 12 months to 31 December, 2016.
The performance marks a 143 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period (PCP), with total revenues increasing 35 per cent to NZ$191.3m.
Gross earnings totalled NZ$24.76m, reflecting improving economies of scale, higher volumes of kiwifruit and an insurance settlement related to a fire at the listed company’s Oakside packhouse in 2015.
Seeka handled a record 32.4m trays of kiwifruit in 2016, with fruit loss low in all varieties, particularly SunGold at 0.35 per cent.
In its first season in Australia, the company processed 660,000 trays of kiwifruit, along with 1,523 tonnes of Nashi pears and 1,790 tonnes of European pears.
“The new Australian business is now fully integrated into Seeka’s business systems although a separate stand-alone business operated from Australia.” said Seeka chief executive Michael Franks. “As a result, Seeka now has year-round Seeka branded produce in the Australian market and have set a platform for growth there.”
Seeka’s New Zealand avocado division also performed strongly, delivering industry-leading returns of NZ$26.86 per tray from its targeted export programmes.
Chairman Fred Hutchings said the company had continued to invest in infrastructure to maximise efficiencies and meet future demand. This includes NZ$43.06m in its New Zealand kiwifruit business and in orchard, packing and fruit storage in Australia.
“It (2016) was an exciting year for Seeka, with considerable change including shortening our name to Seeka Limited as part of a rebranding programme that presents us in a more modern and fresh way,” said Mr Hutchings.
“Our strategy of focusing on excellence in everything we do has delivered outstanding results for our stakeholders. We will continue to look for opportunities to innovate, expand or diversify to secure long-term growth and sustainable profitability as we pursue our vision to be New Zealand’s premier produce business.”
Seeka’s directors declared a dividend of NZ$0.10 per share, which will bring fully imputed dividends in relation to financial year 2016 to NZ$0.20 per share, compared to NZ$0.19 per share in 2015.