Kiwifruit giant reaps whopping profit

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Micheal Franks CEO of Seeka. Photo/file
Micheal Franks CEO of Seeka. Photo/file

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries have reaped a whopping profit this year.

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries has announced an audited profit after tax of $4.27 million for the year ending 31 December, 2015, well above its guidance range of between $2.96 million and $3.53 million.

The after tax profit was up 34.8 per cent on the previous year's result of $3.17 million.

The Te Puke-based, NZX-listed company reported a profit before tax of $5.25 million (up 23 per cent) on total revenues of $142.11 million in total revenue (up 22.9 per cent).

Seeka announced a fully imputed final dividend of $0.10 per share, bringing the total for the year to $0.19, compared to $0.16 for the previous corresponding 12 months.

Seeka chief executive Michael Franks said the company had proactively taken steps to support its growers following the fire last year at its Oakside facility, and subsequent fruit quality issues.

"We're very pleased to be able to report our third consecutive year of improving results, especially after our challenging year following the fire," said Mr Franks.

Seeka paid its growers $4.04 million to ensure they had sufficient income and cashflow while they worked through the insurance claim process. Seeka also wrote off $1.74 million in fire-impaired assets and recorded insurance proceeds of $5.46 million, resulting in a net $0.32 million in one-off fire-related costs during the period. The insurance claim remains in process and any further recovery will be recorded as income when settled.

Other one-off items included $1.12 million expensed for transaction and duty costs related to the purchase of Bunbartha Fruit Packers Pty Ltd in Australia, which increased total company assets by 50 per cent to $164 million.

Mr Franks said profitability continued to improve, with Seeka's packed kiwifruit volumes increasing to 27.8 million trays, compared to 21.4 million trays in the previous corresponding period.

"Seeka has a clear strategy and is focused on delivering superior returns to its growers and continuing to grow the company, both in terms of profitability and size. And we are very appreciative of the hard work and support of our employees and others associated with the company throughout the year."

Seeka chief financial officer Stuart McKinstry said major capital construction builds were underway at KKP in Maketu, Main Road Katikati, and a significant improvement to the fruit grader at its Australian kiwifruit packhouse.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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