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Scales chairman to step down

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016 Edwin Mitson

Jon Mayson, the chairman of Scales Corp, New Zealand's biggest apple exporter, will step down at next year's annual general meeting.

Mayson made the announcement at the company's annual meeting in Christchurch this afternoon and has been in post since May 2012, overseeing its listing on the New Zealand stock exchange in July 2014.

Tim Goodacre has been appointed to the role of deputy chairman, the Christchurch-based company said in a copy of Mayson's address published to the NZX. Goodacre was appointed to the board in 2014 and was previously chief executive of Zespri International between 2003 and 2007.

In Scales' update to investors at the AGM, managing director Andy Borland said 4.1 million cartons of apples had been picked in this season's harvest, up 1.5 per cent on 2015. The percentage of the crop deemed suitable for export is expected to be slightly above last year's figure of 78 per cent. A third of the crop has been sold, with Borland telling investors that "prices are generally in line with expectations".

Scales doubled its annual profit in 2015 off the back of selling higher value apples to Asia and the Middle East, where sweeter, redder varieties attract a premium price, and paid a special dividend of 4 cents on top of an ordinary annual dividend of 13 cents.

In his presentation, Borland said the company has fielded a number of questions about its dividend policy, noting that the board is focused on "maintaining sustainable and improving dividends".

Scales has been one of the standout performers in recent initial public offerings or share floatations in New Zealand. Shares were valued at $1.60 when it listed and have risen as high as $3.47 on May 4 this year. A short while ago they were down 2.6 per cent, or 9 cents, at $3.33. Shares have risen by 42 per cent since the start of the year.

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