EastPack posts $3.89m profit

By Joseph Aldridge

Kiwifruit post-harvest company EastPack has announced a $3.89 million after tax profit for the 2012 year.

The profit statement accompanies average orchard gate returns (OGR) to the company's growers of $5.02 per tray of green kiwifruit, $10.45 per tray of gold, and $7.22 per tray of green organic.

Chairman Ray Sharp said EastPack was the first post-harvest company to report a green OGR above $5.00 per tray for the 2012 season.

"2012 was another very successful, albeit challenging financial year for EastPack. Given the reduction in volume as a result of Psa and our reduced packing prices to growers this was an extremely pleasing result.

"To adjust our costs for lower volumes, our focus was on reducing packing costs and waste, under our 'Growing Excellence' programme," Mr Sharp said.

In March this year, EastPack merged with Satara to form the largest post-harvest kiwifruit company in New Zealand.

Pre-merger, EastPack packed 18.8 million export trays in 2012 compared to 21.3 million in 2011.

The drop in volume, combined with lower packing prices, reduced overall revenue to $67.5 million from $81 million in 2011.

"Our marketing programme to more aggressively pursue new crop volume for the 2012 season saw 2.3 million trays of new volume to replace some of the 3.5 million of gold trays lost due to Psa," Mr Sharp said.

"This successful strategy ensured we maintained our valuable staffing and operating efficiency - which give us a competitive advantage - as opposed to the alternative of retrenchment and redundancies."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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