Hawke's Bay apple grower Mr Apple has seen exports rise to a record 69,480 tonnes, helping parent company Scales Corporation achieve a half-year profit of $34.8 million (after tax).
NZX-listed agri-business company Scales Corporation announced for the six months ended June 30, 2018 net profit after tax for the group was $34.8m, a 22 per cent increase on the previous half year.
Profit for the period from continuing operations was $29.3m compared with $24.4m in the first half of the previous year, an increase of 20 per cent.
Scales Corp managing director Andy Borland said exports from its Hawke's Bay Mr Apple orchard business grew 9 per cent - rising from 3.4 million cartons to 3.86 million.
"We're pretty happy about that obviously, the team does a great job at Mr Apple."
Borland said export demand was strong across the board, with strong demand in Asia.
"That's where we've targeted our re-plantings over the last few years, to get the sweeter apples that the Asian market enjoys.
"We're continuing to redevelop our orchards, so we are planting new varieties, such as Dazzle which we are pretty excited about. We're planting that this year, so it will be ready in three or four years."
Borland added that a return to good growing conditions over the year had been a factor in achieving both a record harvest crop and a record export volume.
Earlier this year, Scales Corp also agreed to sell its Whakatu coldstore operation. However, Mr Apple has its own coldstore facilities and would be unaffected.
The Overseas Investment Office still needs to approve the $151.4m sale of the coldstore business Polarcold Stores Limited and Whakatu Coldstores Limited (now merged under the Polarcold brand) to a multinational corporation.
"The storage and logistics division delivered a satisfying result with increased volumes and improved utilisation building on prior year operations. The sale of Polarcold, effective June 1, 2018, is only subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and we announced the sale of Liqueo earlier in August. We expect full year trading for Scales Logistics to be in line with budget," Borland said.
Chairman Tim Goodacre said the company was also pleased to reaffirm its previously announced EBITDA guidance of between $58m and $65m on a like-for-like basis (continuing and discontinued operations) - "and we expect to be at the top end of that range".