Zespri financial results: Record year for kiwifruit marketer

Newstalk ZB / Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 May 2022, 7:34am
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Zespri financial results: Record year for kiwifruit marketer

Newstalk ZB / Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 May 2022, 7:34am

Zespri's global revenue has topped $4 billion for the first time despite a challenging season, the company says.

The kiwifruit marketer credited a record crop, investment in brand-led demand creation and its industry's ability to respond and leverage its scale for the record financial result in 2021/22.

In a statement, the Mount Maunganui-based company said its global operating revenue of $4.47 billion was up 15 per cent on the previous year. It had a net profit after tax of $361.5 million.

Expected total dividends were $1.78.

Revenue from fruit sales was up 12 per cent on the previous year to $4.03b and it sold 11 per cent more trays, with 201.5m between more than 50 markets.

Direct returns to the New Zealand industry were a record $2.47 billion, including loyalty payments, despite Covid-19 uncertainties and supply chain cost rises.

"Earnings were again spread through regional communities including within the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Nelson, Gisborne, and the Waikato."

Grower returns per hectare were the second-best on record across all varieties.

The grower-owned company has 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers offshore.

Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron said the results reflected an incredible effort across the industry to continue to operate safely throughout the challenges presented by the pandemic.

"This was an extraordinary season where the industry faced some considerable headwinds in market, throughout the supply chain and on orchard, yet collectively we found a way to tackle the challenges and to continue to succeed.

Zespri Chief Executive Officer Dan Mathieson said challenges the industry faced this season included the pandemic and ongoing supply chain disruption, shifting weather patterns, tightening regulations, changes to fruit flows, increasing competition in the market, labour shortages, late-season fruit quality issues, significant cost increases and international trade challenges.

"Exporters right around the world have been tested, and our industry again rose to the challenge to deliver strong results in the toughest of circumstances.

"We were able to succeed because of the hard work growers, suppliers, our partners and the whole Zespri team put in to ensure that we could adapt and deliver a quality product that more and more consumers want."

He said Zespri had invested in building its brand and this had been supported by its long-term partnerships throughout the supply chain disruptions.

"By utilising our scale, we've avoided the worst of the global shipping crisis through greater use of charter shipping to ensure our fruit can get to market to meet the growing demand."

He said growing offshore production remained critical to boost efforts to serve consumers year-round and ultimately deliver stronger returns to growers.

Mathieson said supply chain challenges would continue for the rest of the current season.

The industry was working to deliver the remainder of the 2022/23 crop, which had lower volumes than forecast.

SunGold and Zespri RubyRed harvesting was complete and Green packing was in full swing.

"We know the current season is a tougher scenario but the industry continues to adapt and work together to make sure we're meeting the growing demand for our fruit, managing the uncertainty and challenges and working towards another strong result.

"The future of our industry is incredibly bright, with strong growth opportunities ahead of us and we're committed to meeting those," he said.

Average grower returns by variety

  • Zespri Green: $6.35 per tray; $75,494 per hectare
  • Zespri Organic Green: $9.74 per tray; $67,752 per hectare
  • Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit: $11.51 per tray; $176,026 per hectare
  • Zespri Organic SunGold Kiwifruit: $12.61 per tray; $143,772 per hectare.
  • Zespri Sweet Green: $7.82 per tray; $54,609 per hectare.