New Zealand's biggest manuka honey exporter and former higher flier, Comvita, said it had turned itself around despite suffering two unusually poor harvests in a row.
The company reported a net profit after tax for the June year $8.2m - towards the bottom end of its own $8-$10m guidance - compared with net profit of $9.8m in 2017.
After adjusting for non-operating items, the result is an after tax operating profit of $9.3m, against a operating after tax loss of $5.5m in 2017.
The second poor honey harvest had negative impact of $6.2m on the full year's net profit.
Comvita rode the crest of a wave in 2014 and 2015 based on enthusiasm for manuka honey and strong demand through the unofficial "grey", or daigou, trade channels into China.
The share price peaked at $12.85 mid-way through 2016 but quickly began to peel off when it began to hit regulatory problems in the daigou markets in the following year.
Then came a poor, weather-affected season, followed by an equally poor one in the season just past.
The company's share price has struggled to perform since reaching the giddy heights in 2016, and traded today at $5.65 -- down five cents from Monday's close.
Chairman Neil Craig said the history of honey harvests in New Zealand showed that a third, consecutive, poor honey season was unlikely.
"However, we are in the process of continuing to evolve the operating model of our Apiary business to reduce the financial exposure in the event of another poor harvest," he said in a statement.
Comvita had further reduced the fixed cost overhead in its Apiary business and used its body of scientific knowledge to select hive sites that optimism profitability.
Sales for the period of $176.7m were up on the prior year by 19 per cent, and included a solid rebound of "grey channel" sales in Australasia of 58 per cent.
Market demand in key Asian and North American markets continues to grow, the company said.
Significant investment in acquiring raw honey inventory during last quarter places Comvita in a good position to meet future market demand, it said.
Shareclarity managing director Daniel Kieser said there was a notable build-up of inventory, which increased $18 million in the second half.
"Ordinarily you would not want a manufacturer to increase inventories because they are expensive to warehouse and they tie up capital that could be used elsewhere," he said.
"In this case, however, it may be ok because honey does not degrade and could provide capacity if sales were to increase next year," Kieser said.
Comvita declared a final dividend of 2 cents per share, bringing the total 6 cents - or 29 per cent of its operating profit after tax.
The payout ratio signals a change in policy from 40-45 per cent of after tax profits, to a range of 25-30 per cent operating profit after tax, based on a change in its policy to retain more cash to fund future growth.
Craig said the Ministry for Primary Industries' move to introduce legally enforceable standards and a level playing field for monofloral manuka honey was an "excellent outcome" for the future sustainability of the industry.
The advances of an unnamed potential buyer, which had undertaken a due diligence book checking exercise early this year, were spurned on the basis of price.
Subsequent to a bid not proceeding, and with the benefit of feedback and excellent strategic analysis from the potential bidder, company reappraised its strategic direction.
Craig said Comvita had decided to focus strategy on continuing to build on its leadership position in manuka honey and propolis - a kind of resin that honey bees produce to seal open spaces in the hive.