Global sales for 2023/24 up 2 per cent to NZ$3.99bn despite 10.5 per cent drop in global sales volume

Zespri’s 2023/24 financial results have delivered record average per tray returns to growers across all categories other than Organic SunGold Kiwifruit, despite volumes falling.

Zespri Dan Mathieson

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson

The company said a difficult growing season resulted in a 10.5 per cent drop in global sales volumes to 164.2m trays from 183.5m in 2022. Nevertheless, global sales increased 2 per cent to NZ$3.99bn, reflecting improved fruit quality and strong pricing secured throughout the season.

Net profit after tax was NZ$173.3m, down from NZ$238.7m in 2022/23, mainly driven by reduced licence revenue from lower pricing per hectare than in the previous season. The total net dividend is NZ$0.85 cents per share.

CEO Dan Mathieson says the results reflected the industry effort to lift fruit quality, along with strong consumer demand for Zespri kiwifruit.

“We’re delighted to be able to deliver such a strong set of returns to growers, including record per tray returns for all categories other than Organic SunGold, particularly after such a challenging period for the industry,” he said.

“It’s really pleasing to see a significant increase in Green returns, up from NZ$5.78 to NZ$9.55 per tray, which is welcome news given how tough it’s been for our Green growers in recent seasons and the difficult growing conditions we’ve faced.

“These strong per tray returns have been driven by improved quality and good pricing alongside our investment in the brand and ability to build demand ahead of supply.”

Mathieson said there were some standout results in some of Zespri’s major markets.

“We’re really pleased with how things have gone in Europe, particularly in being able to deliver really strong value for our Green growers, and that’s been supported by strong value for Green fruit in Japan too.

“China was a standout in terms of being able to deliver strong value for SunGold, reflecting the demand we’re continuing to see for this variety. RubyRed kiwifruit is also continuing to perform strongly and offers us a great platform to start our season in our Asia Pacific markets,” he stated.

“It’s been tougher for our organic categories, particularly on a per hectare level where a really big drop in yields has made it challenging, and continuing to lift per hectare returns across all categories as we manage greater volumes remains a focus for us looking ahead.”

Zespri’s non-New Zealand supply season sales increased to NZA$654.2m, up from NZ$519.3m on the back of increased volumes sold of 27.2m trays, improved pricing and a reduction in quality costs.

“Our offshore production bases are a critical part of Zespri’s Global Supply strategy helping us to build the brand, to hold shelf space and to maintain our retail and supply partnerships,” Mathieson said.

“It’s pleasing to see ZGS sales increasing to support the launch of our New Zealand sales season, helping deliver stronger returns to growers in New Zealand and around the world.”

Mathieson said the results are a credit to the way the industry has responded to recent challenges, and that he was delighted to see the positive momentum continue with the fantastic start made to the 2024/25 season.

“Feedback from customers on quality has been really positive, with a lot of excitement at the prospect of being able to access more fruit this season. Sales are also exceeding our expectations in key markets.

“The strong demand for our fruit is really encouraging and that’s helping our efforts to maximise value for growers which will remain our focus as we move further into the season,” he concluded.