Inaugural kiwifruit breeding centre CEO named
The board of the newly established Kiwifruit Breeding Centre has announced the appointment of Dr Matt Glenn as its inaugural chief executive officer.
The Kiwifruit Breeding Centre is a 50-50 joint venture between Plant & Food Research and Zespri.
It has been established to drive greater innovation within kiwifruit breeding, and to create healthier, better-tasting and more sustainability-focused varieties.
Kiwifruit Breeding Centre chairman Michael Ahie said Glenn's appointment followed an
extensive recruitment search.
"Dr Glenn really impressed the board not only with his experience, but also his vision for how the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre can lead the world in kiwifruit breeding," Ahie said.
"We know Dr Glenn also brings strong leadership from the roles he's held previously, which include executive and leadership roles at Hill Laboratories, Robotics Plus and Quayside Holdings - the commercial investment arm of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
"We're really looking forward to working with Dr Glenn, and to beginning work at the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre on October 1."
Based in the Bay of Plenty, Glenn's strong background in science, technology and business
management will support the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre as it accelerates Zespri and Plant & Food Research's world-leading new cultivar development programme.
Glenn said he was "thrilled" to join the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre and was looking forward to working with "exceptional talent" to accelerate New Zealand's kiwifruit breeding success.
"We have a great opportunity to add to the history of innovation the industry is known for, and help contribute to the growth of the kiwifruit industry within New Zealand and to the value we create for New Zealand.
"We've seen how the latest red variety has encouraged new customers to try kiwifruit, and we're looking forward to continuing to explore other new varieties in the years ahead."
Tripadvisor reveals travellers' favourite tourist spots
Mount Maunganui-based tourism business V8 Trike Tours has been recognised as a 2021 Travellers' Choice award winner by Tripadvisor.
The achievement celebrates businesses that consistently deliver fantastic experiences to travellers around the world, having earned positive traveller reviews on Tripadvisor over the past 12 months.
V8 Trike Tours owners Kathryn and Nigel Busbridge said they were thrilled to win the award, which is their fourth Tripadvisor award in five years of operation.
"This award comes through determination, dedication and hard work from the whole team at V8 Trike Tours over the years", Nigel said.
"For us to know that our customers continue to love the V8 Trike Tours unique experience is awesome," Kathryn said.
Tāpoi Te Moananui ā Toi-Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Oscar Nathan congratulated the Busbridges on their achievement.
"It is a testament to their hard work creating a fun and memorable experience for visitors of all ages to Mount Maunganui and Tauranga.
"While it's not been an easy year, V8 Trike Tours has shown its resilience as a stellar business and their commitment to adapting to the current environment.
"We are lucky in this region to have such operators who are constantly pushing for excellence."
Mount Hot Pools, Hibiscus Surf School, Mount Maunganui Main Beach, Mauao base and summit tracks, Ōhope Beach, The Aviator Experience in Tauranga, Julians Berry Farm & Cafe and Awakeri Rail Adventures in Whakatane also received Traveller's Choice awards.
Tripadvisor chief commercial officer Kanika Soni acknowledged all the winners of the 2021 Travellers' Choice Awards.
"I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses. What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines, and utilising technology to prioritise guest safety."
Pets in the pandemic open opportunities for Bay producer
A Te Puke-based pet food producer is preparing for an influx in demand for its products as the pandemic puts pressures on global supply, national pet numbers increase, and market trends push consumers towards higher quality, wholesome pet food.
Wishbone Pet Foods entered North Island supermarkets this month, saying extremely high demand has led it to recruit more staff and make plans to expand production lines.
Wishbone Pet Foods New Zealand sales manager Paul Mansfield said their product has been on supermarket shelves for only a few weeks and already they're being asked to supply more.
"... our future orders from the supermarkets keep increasing. It's fantastic to see and shows just how high the demand is out there for our gourmet products."
Wishbone Pet Foods exports its small-batch, artisanal pet food to 15 countries around the world, all from its Te Puke factory.
"One thing this pandemic has proven to us all is just how important supporting local is – not just for the business, but more importantly, the wider community," Mansfield said.
"... we work particularly closely with Bay of Plenty farmers to keep it as local as possible."
A recruitment campaign to attract young talent was under way, allowing Wishbone and its co-brands to increase production and capture more opportunities. New production lines are expected to be in place at the Te Puke factory by the end of this year.
During the pandemic, the company has also ramped up its support of animal shelters and has donated 3000kg of pet food valued at $40,000 to Help Us Help Animals (HUHA) – enough to fill 12,000 bowls.
Talent shortage puts pressure on NZ marcomms sector
A Bay of Plenty strategic communication agency says increased demand for communications and marketing professionals is putting pressure on the sector as the country continues to battle Covid-19.
The Shine Collective partner Meg Jones said Covid has seen many communications professionals snapped up by government departments that have needed to manage Covid communications.
Many employees were also choosing to stay put, further diminishing the talent pool, she said.
"Our network of communications professionals across the country is echoing our observations too, with most noticing a shortage in quality communications professionals. It's definitely a job hunters' market.
"The importance of good communications has never been more important than right now and the increase in vacancies in the sector highlights the importance that businesses are placing on this skill and how imperative well-executed communications are to a business."
Jones said the marketing and communications sector was also seeing an increase in job listings.
"Covid has changed the business communications environment, in some ways for the better, as businesses have been forced to adapt quickly, think outside the square, and embrace digital technologies and new ways of connecting and communicating with staff, customers, and the public.
"However, high-performing communication professionals will always be a valuable asset to businesses as we adapt how we communicate in this ever-changing world."
BlueWave up for sale
The BlueWave Apartments in Mount Maunganui is up for sale.
The 1561sq m section in 209 Valley Rd includes seven one-bedroom units and a three-bedroom house.
The former motel is leased individually to residential tenants and returns about $191,000 a year in total gross rental income.
The property has the potential to be subdivided into seven to 10 lots, pending resource consent.
Colliers Tauranga managing director Simon Clark said he expected the property on the corner of Valley Rd and McDowell St to draw huge interest.
Clark said being only 300m from Omanu Beach will be a "strong drawcard" for the new owner.
Colliers Tauranga commercial sales broker Grant White said the property will give buyers the chance to acquire a prime location in one of the country's key growth regions.
"The opportunities for the new owners of this property are quite broad and will appeal to a multitude of potential buyers and investors looking at residential rental income or developers of medium-to-high-density residential housing in this prime beachside location.
"The first option will be to continue renting out each unit on a long-term basis to enjoy the strong rental returns and look for further capital appreciation in this large site.
"The second potential option for the new owner would be to redevelop the site into seven to 10 high-quality residential terraced or stand-alone houses while utilising the rental income during planning and applying for all consents before construction starts."
Port of Tauranga navigates after-tax $102.4m profit
Pandemic storm-tossed Port of Tauranga has safely navigated its way to a group net after- tax profit of $102.4 million, an increase of 15.5 per cent in a supply chain-choked 2021 financial year.
A 14.3 per cent increase in log exports and a 46 per cent lift in subsidiary and associate company earnings were countered by increased costs and reduced container volumes due to supply chain congestion.
Total trade increased 3.8 per cent on FY20 to 25.7 million tonnes, but container volumes fell 4.1 per cent to 1.2m TEUs. The company reported 106 fewer container vessel visits between September last year and June 2021 as a result of shipping disruption.
Imports increased 4 per cent to 9.4m tonnes while exports lifted 3.6 per cent to 16.3m tonnes.
Group revenue rose 12 per cent to $338m. Parent company revenue increased 8.9 per cent to $323.5m. Costs lifted nearly 15 per cent due to congestion effects.
New Zealand's largest port will pay a final dividend of 7.5c per share, giving an ordinary dividend for the year of 13.5cps.
Chair David Pilkington said the results were pleasing considering the supply chain challenges of the past year.
"As the world continues to grapple with the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been major disruption in international supply chains. Constrained capacity in parts of the New Zealand supply chain, especially at Ports of Auckland, has exacerbated delays and restricted our ability to adapt quickly to the needs of importers and exporters," he said.
"International shipping capacity is in hot demand and costs for shippers have skyrocketed."
New chief executive Leonard Sampson, who took over from Mark Cairns in June, said it had been "a very tough operating year".
The result was a good reward for a great effort by all involved, and reflected the benefit of the company's diversified earning sources and cargoes, he said.
Subsidiary and associate earnings lifted 46 per cent to $18.6m.
Comvita posts nearly $10m net profit
Global manuka honey supplier Comvita is resuming its dividend payment after posting a near-200 per cent turnaround to make a net profit of nearly $10 million for the 2021 financial year.
The Bay of Plenty exporter, based at Paengaroa, has completed an 18-month transformation programme and is producing sales growth, particularly in its main markets of China and North America.
The transformation programme delivered $12.1m in improvements, and the annual result was in line with market expectation.
Comvita's share price surged 28c or 8.19 per cent to $3.70 in early trading on the NZX market.
For the year ending June, Comvita struck a net profit of $9.47m compared with a loss of $9.7m in 2020 – a turnaround of 197.7 per cent. Its revenue was slightly down by 2.1 per cent to $191.73m.
Operating earnings (ebitda) soared $21.3m or 511 per cent to $25.5m, and Comvita is paying a final dividend of 4c a share on October 7 – representing 30 per cent of the net profit.
Comvita has set an ebitda guidance of $27m-$30m for the 2022 financial year, with digital sales increasing from 34 per cent to 38 per cent of total revenue. It will also further reduce its inventory from $100m to $90m.
Comvita chief executive David Banfield said the results show the business had come a long way to stabilise performance.
"Not only have we returned to profitability, we have also significantly simplified the business to set up Comvita for long-term profitable growth."