Record profit for kiwifruit operator

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Craig Greenlees, DMS joint managing director, announces additional infrastructure investment to meet growing Gold volumes.
Craig Greenlees, DMS joint managing director, announces additional infrastructure investment to meet growing Gold volumes.

Western Bay of Plenty kiwifruit post-harvest operator DMS has announced a record 2015/16 profit, alongside news of a major $12.5 million investment at its Te Puna site.

The company's financial results, released at its annual general meeting in Tauranga yesterday evening, showed a profit before tax and distributions of $6.95 million, up from $3.13 million the previous year. The growers' rebate increased to 30c, up from 20c in the previous corresponding period.

The 2016/17 season also saw DMS process what was for the company a record volume of fruit - 10.7 million class 1 trays, up from 4.8 million back in 2013. DMS says its market share has increased from 5.6 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

Craig Greenlees, who is joint managing director of DMS with Paul Jones, said the 2016 results were based on the company's focus on quality, as well as the recovery of the wider industry.

"In 2013 we put a stake in the ground to champion for the G3 [Sungold] variety as the future for the industry in the post-PSA environment," he said.

That belief had paid off for the company, its growers and the wider industry, he said.

"Our results are driven not only by the increased volume coming onstream across the industry, but by careful business cost control and an unwavering dedication to maintaining quality standards. We expect the 2016/17 financial results will improve further with the extra volumes this season. This growth will be supported by further investment in infrastructure and staff development."

DMS - along with other major post-harvest operators - has invested heavily in infrastructure to meet the growing volumes of G3 coming onstream.

"The [$12.5 million] Te Puna development, which includes four new coolstores and supporting site expansions, is the biggest ever for DMS, reflecting the growth of the business and ensuring we are able to maintain our high-quality standards with increased fruit volumes," said Mr Greenlees.

DMS had also made a considerable investment in the upskilling of its people and processes, all of which was about strengthening DMS for the future, he said.

DMS chief executive Derek Masters - who also paid tribute to staff efforts - said one of the most significant developments over the past season had been the phenomenal growth in terms of tray numbers packed at the company's two sites this year.

Mr Masters said the breakdown of this year's volume was approximately 3.8 million G3 trays, with the balance in Green.

"We expect next year we will lift to well over 11 million class 1 trays."

Green volumes were expected to be the about the same, but with the weighting shifting towards G3, he said.

DMS infrastructure investments include:

* A $9 million coolstore development in Te Puke coming onstream for the 2016/17 season.

* A further $12.5 million investment planned for its Te Puna site for the 2017/18 season.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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