Listed New Zealand produce handler Seeka Limited, with operations in New Zealand and Australia, has reported its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020.
"Seeka delivered excellent performance for growers, consumers and investors in 2020. The company generated higher profit, lowered debt and maintained shareholder dividends. Our customers were delighted with the quality of our produce,” says Seeka chief executive Michael Franks.
"Seeka completed all harvests in New Zealand and Australia; an outstanding achievement by our staff and contractors who continued to provide an essential service as Covid-19 threatened their health and the welfare of their whānau. Our people responded with commitment and innovation to deliver business continuity to our stakeholders and outstanding results to our growers and shareholders. We strive to provide our growers with a service they can trust, and our customers with a reliable supply of high-quality produce.”
"Revenues from our New Zealand retail service operations increased 77% and the business generated excellent returns for our avocado and kiwiberry growers with Seeka managing the full value chain from orchard to market. Seeka is investing in new kiwifruit orchards in partnership with iwi and the Provincial Growth Fund, including a 40- hectare Hayward orchard on the East Cape with PGF, and a 7-hectare SunGold orchard in the Bay of Plenty. And we continue to grow our Australian business where we are developing new kiwifruit orchards, trialling new nashi varieties, and made our first sales of Ricó pear with production set to ramp up in 2021.”
"The company realised $9.0m of gains from the sale and leaseback of three Australian kiwifruit orchards and the sale of New Zealand Northland orchards, and repaid $38.9m of debt, with net bank debt falling 33% in the year. Progress is being made on Seeka's sustainability programme as the company assessed the risk and opportunities of climate change. Seeka is working to become a more sustainable business as we focus on delivering safe and healthy eating options to global consumers.”
“Seeka remains focussed on delivering its strategy to deliver incremental earnings and returns to both shareholders and growers. Lifting the base business operating profits is one of our strategic platforms. While kiwifruit is Seeka’s foundation crop, the company also has a growing fruit bowl including avocados, kiwiberry, nashi and European pears across New Zealand and Australia. We are a growth company and we continue to focus on profitable growth,” says Franks.
“Analysis of future crop volumes indicate that Seeka has sufficient post harvest capacity for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, with additional capacity required for 2023. The company is evaluating options and is considering the development of a new post harvest complex on the Pukenga Orchard in Young Road, Te Puke. The Board is expected to consider this investment mid-year with any construction occurring in 2022.”
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