New Zealand-based kiwifruit marketer Zespri has been able to pass on record returns to growers and the industry after its revenue for the 2018/19 season increased 26 per cent to NZ$3.14bn (US$2.03bn)
This result comes on the back of a growth in volume and value across all the company’s fruit categories. In total, Zespri sold 167.2m trays of kiwifruit in 2018/19, a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.
As a single-desk marketer Zespri passes on its revenue to growers. This season its fruit and service payments (including a loyalty premium) to New Zealand growers totalled NZ$1.8bn (US$1.1bn).
Bruce Cameron, chair of Zespri, said growers and their communities are benefiting from the industry’s drive to meet an increasing demand for Zespri kiwifruit.
“That’s evident in the increased volumes of both Green and SunGold Kiwifruit Zespri sold last season which has driven record average returns per hectare for both categories,” Cameron said.
“While SunGold also returned record levels per tray, Green returns per tray were down slightly because of higher-than-expected volumes which led to an extended sales window and associated increases in quality costs.”
Zespri’s net profit after tax also increased from NZ$101.8m (US$66m) in 2017/18, to NZ$179.8m (US$129.7) this year reflecting the strong season results.
This was boosted by revenue from the ongoing SunGold licence release programme and increased revenue from new cultivar royalties.
The total dividend per share in the 2018/19 financial year is expected to be NZ$0.92 (US$0.59), up from NZ$0.50 (US$0.32) in 2017/18.
Dan Mathieson, chief executive of Zespri, is expecting the strong results to continue with more growth forecast this year.
“We’re very pleased with the progress made in the 2018/19 season but as always, we’re focused on doing better,” Mathieson said.
“Our ambition is to help drive greater value through growing new markets and increase our penetration in existing ones. We’re continuing to see strong growth in our largest markets, including Japan, China and Spain, and making real progress in newer ones like the US.”
Mathieson said the company was already looking at next season. “We’re very pleased with the progress made in the 2018/19 season but as always, we’re focused on doing better.”