28 May 2021

Zespri profit soars to $290m despite 'incredibly difficult conditions'

10:03 am on 28 May 2021

Kiwifruit giant Zespri has reported record returns for the 2020-21 season.

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Photo: RNZ/Susan Murray

The company has reported a net profit after tax of $290.5 million - up $90m on the previous year.

Total global fruit sales revenue also grew to $3.58 billion - up 14 percent - and global sale volumes were up 10 percent on last season to 181.5 million trays.

The company said increased sales, the ongoing expansion of Zespri SunGold kiwifruit production and great quality fruit underpinned the strong returns.

Chief executive Dan Mathieson said the results would see earnings spread through many regional communities in New Zealand.

"We're delighted a record $2.25b will be returned to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, and to know that those returns will support jobs and communities around the country.

"The unity of our industry allowed us to respond effectively to incredibly difficult conditions around the world.

"That response was underpinned by our investment in the Zespri brand, the trust we have built up with our customers and consumers globally and the resilience and adaptability of our supply chain and sales and marketing teams," he said.

Looking ahead Zespri is confident the season already underway will produce another record breaking crop.

Mathieson said nearly all Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit had been submitted into inventory and the harvest of green was in full swing.

"Demand from our markets is incredibly strong with our fruit selling quickly. However, we are facing headwinds including industry capacity constraints, rising costs and securing enough people to get our fruit to the world, as well as pandemic-related disruption to our shipping channels and distribution in some of our markets."

He said Zespri was working hard with the industry to overcome the challenges in order to deliver positive value to stakeholders and the country.

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