Bay of Plenty kiwifruit growers will reap the rewards of another record Zespri season with fruit sales generating a total global revenue of $3.58 billion.
Increased sales, ongoing expansion of SunGold kiwifruit production and strong international demand have been pinned as helping deliver a record result for Zespri's 2020/2021 season.
Zespri's 2020/2021 financial results released today show total global revenue generated by fruit sales reached $3.58b - up 14 per cent on the previous year.
Total global operating revenue increased by 16 per cent to $3.89b. Global sales volumes were up 10 per cent on the previous year to 181.5 million trays.
Direct returns to the New Zealand industry increased by 15 per cent to $2.25b despite Covid-19 uncertainty.
Earnings are spread through many regional communities including the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Nelson, Gisborne, and the Waikato, providing support to people, communities and businesses across the country.
There were strong returns on both a per tray and per hectare basis.
The average return for Zespri Green per tray increased to $7.51, with the average return per hectare reaching $76,722.
Zespri Organic Green reached an average return per tray of $10.53, and an average per hectare return of $66,453.
The average return for Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit increased to $12.46 per tray, and the average return per hectare was also a record $177,846.
Zespri Organic SunGold Kiwifruit saw a per tray return of $15.36, with the average per hectare return reaching $158,599.
Zespri Sweet Green achieved an average return per tray of $10.14 and an average return per hectare of $56,853.
Zespri's non-New Zealand supply sales increased to $472.8m while Zespri's net profit after tax is $290.5m, up from $200.8m on the previous year.
Zespri chairman Bruce Cameron said the results reflect continued strong demand for its kiwifruit around the world, boosted by the industry's hard work and investment to increase demand and supply.
"After a season where we were forced to make such significant changes to our operations with a focus on keeping our people safe, getting our fruit to the world, and continuing to invest for the future, it's pleasing to see such encouraging results for the industry.
"Demand for both Zespri Green and Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit increased and we're pleased to see growing interest in our newest variety, Zespri Red, which is a testament to our industry's ongoing investment in innovation and finding new ways to add value for New Zealand and our international production bases."
Zespri's chief executive officer Dan Mathieson said the 2020/21 season again showcased the strength of the Zespri brand in delivering value, attracting new consumers and supporting communities.
"The unity of our industry allowed us to respond effectively to incredibly difficult conditions around the world.
"That response was underpinned by our investment in the Zespri brand, the trust we have built up with our customers and consumers globally and the resilience and adaptability of our supply chain and sales and marketing teams."
Mathieson said the team's efforts and the supply chain were "critically important".
"We're incredibly proud of the way they responded and of those members of our team who are still dealing with the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 around the world."
He was also encouraged by the growth in sales of Zespri's non-New Zealand supply, with strong returns to its partners in Italy, France, Japan and Korea.
"These production bases are a critical part of Zespri's 12-month supply strategy."
With the 2021/22 New Zealand season now well under way, nearly all Zespri SunGold kiwifruit has been submitted into inventory and the harvest of Green is in full swing.
Mathieson said Zespri was expecting another record-breaking crop this year, again underpinned by the expansion of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit production and Zespri Red.
"Our sales and marketing programmes are in full swing and demand from our markets is incredibly strong with our fruit selling quickly.
"However, we are facing headwinds including industry capacity constraints, rising costs and securing enough people to get our fruit to the world, as well as pandemic-related disruption to our shipping channels and distribution in some of our markets.
"We're working hard as an industry to overcome these challenges in order to deliver ongoing positive value to all our stakeholders and New Zealand as we continue to grow as an industry, though we do expect they will remain an issue in the medium term."
Mathieson said a record $2.25b will be returned to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, which will support jobs and communities nationwide.
"We know that our success is only possible with the support of our communities and it's important to us that we continue to recognise that."
In 2020/21, Zespri partnered with KidsCan and Ronald McDonald House for the first time and shared 100-plus tonnes of fresh kiwifruit with organisations around the country.
"We were also pleased to kick off the first Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, helping teach 20,000 young New Zealanders about the importance of eating well, exercising and looking after the environment.
"And we supported a number of important causes in our markets around the world as part
of our purpose of helping people, communities and the environment to thrive.
"These efforts will grow as our industry does and as we focus on ensuring we have a positive impact around the world."
2020/21 Financial results summary:
• Zespri global operating revenue: $3.89 billion
• Zespri global fruit sales revenue: $3.58 billion
• Total New Zealand-grown fruit and service payments including loyalty premium: $2.25 million
• Zespri global trays sold: 181.5 million trays
• Zespri's net profit after tax: $290.5 million
• Expected total dividends: $1.33