A tough six months means produce company Seeka won’t pay an interim dividend to shareholders. According to company spokespeople, Covid, labor shortages, low fruit volumes and unfavorable weather have all affected its half-year results. While revenue was up by 10% to $247.3m, earnings were impacted by increased costs and lower than expected fruit volumes. Gross earnings were down 2.3% to $30m, net profit rose 4% to $21.5m.
Seeka chief executive Michael Franks has stated that the company’s operates in a seasonal business with substantial earnings coming in the first six months associated with harvest in New Zealand and Australia. Franks says the board and management have reserved the decision to pay an interim dividend.
The company is forecasting a “challenging second six months” and a full year net profit of between $9m and $11m. Last year the company reported a net profit of $23.5m.
Late last year, a storm in Opotiki destroyed an estimated 2 million trays of kiwifruit crops, while an unseasonably late maturing Gisborne kiwifruit region was then hit with heavy and continuous rain. Franks says shipping delays disrupted the supply chain to market. Also, fruit quality in 2022 was poor.