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Bumper crop almost doubles Seeka's coffers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/08/2016 By Paul McBeth

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries hiked its interim dividend to shareholders as the first harvest from its recent Australian acquisition and record crops contributed to a first-half profit that almost doubled.

Net profit rose to $7.1 million, or 43 cents per share, in the six months ended June 30 from $3.7m, or 24 cents, a year earlier, the Te Puke-based company said.

Revenue climbed 39 per cent to $134.2m, and the board declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share, payable on Sept. 29 to shareholders on the register on Sept. 22. That's up from 9 cents a share a year earlier.

The increased profit reflected "the successful completion of the avocado season, the commencement of harvest and selling of our Australian-grown produce and record kiwifruit volumes in New Zealand," Seeka said.

"Higher New Zealand kiwifruit volumes have led to better earnings, but required significant investment."

Seeka foreshadowed the result in June when it said it handled record kiwifruit volumes in the latest packing season and signalled the benefits of from its purchase of Australia's Bunbartha Fruit Packers for A$22m ($NZ23m) would start to show up.

The shares climbed 6.2 per cent to $4.78, having already gained 31 per cent this year.

Seeka's post-harvest business, which co-ordinates the local harvest, packing, coolstore and logistics for its growers, lifted earnings 25 per cent to $13.8m on a 30 per cent gain in revenue to $78m.

Seeka will provide annual earnings guidance at an update in October when it said it will have greater certainty over fruit quality, kiwifruit selling prices, the completion of Australian fruit sales, and any final resolution to a fire insurance claim.


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