It's no wonder Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson had an extra bounce in his step while traipsing around the US with PM Jacinda Ardern and others on a recent trade mission to that country.
Despite challenges faced by the sector Zespri posted financial results that showed a total global fruit sales revenue of $4.03 billion for 2021-22, up 12% on the previous year.
Global operating revenue was also up by 15% to $4.47 billion.
Zespri chairman Bruce Cameron says the results reflect an incredible effort across the industry to continue to operate safely through the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This was an extraordinary season where the industry faced some considerable headwinds in market, throughout the supply chain and on orchard, yet collectively we found a way to tackle the challenges and to continue to succeed,” says Cameron.
“Most pleasingly, not only have we delivered strong returns for growers including out second-highest per hectare returns, we’ve strengthened our partnerships across our global supply chain, continued to make positive contributions to our communities and made decisions as an industry to set ourselves up for sustained success.”
Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson says the results are reflective of the company’s ongoing focus on investment in the brand as well as an ability to build demand ahead of supply to create value and the long-term relationships which have helped the industry overcome challenges and continue to move forward.
“This is a really pleasing result given how significant the challenges we faced in the 2021/22 season were,” Mathieson says.
He says these challenges include the pandemic, ongoing supply chain disruption, shifting weather patterns, tightening regulations, changes to fruit flows, increasing market competition, labour shortages, late season fruit quality issues, significant cost increases and international trade challenges.
“Exporters right around the world have been tested, and our industry again rose to the challenge to deliver strong results in the toughest of circumstances.
“We were able to succeed because of the hard work growers, suppliers, our partners and the whole Zespri team put in to ensure that we could adapt and deliver a quality product that more and more consumers want.
“Our investment in building our brand has been supported by our long-term partnerships throughout the supply chain, and by utilising our scale, we’ve avoided the worst of the global shipping crisis through greater use of charter shipping to ensure our fruit can get to market to meet the growing demand. Our teams in market also allowed us to stay closely connected to the challenges and changing market conditions, and be agile in response.”
Mathieson says importantly this growth wasn’t just in New Zealand, with Zespri’s offshore growing operations continuing to perform strongly.
“We saw ZGS financial performance reaching new levels, despite some weather-related challenges in Europe, with volumes of around 26.5 million trays and a contribution to fruit and services payment of around $410 million.
“The growth of our offshore production remains critically important, boosting our efforts to serve our consumers year round, helping to hold our shelf space, make our marketing investment more efficient and to maintain commercial partnerships to allow us to launch our New Zealand sales season.
“As a result, we are able to maximise the benefit from the increased international demand we’re creating, delivering stronger returns to growers in New Zealand and around the world.”
- Zespri global operating revenue: NZ$4.47 billion (includes licence revenue)
- Zespri global fruit sales revenue: NZ$4.03 billion
- Total New Zealand-grown fruit and service payments including loyalty premium: NZ$2.47 billion
- Zespri global trays sold: 201.5 million trays
- Zespri’s net profit after tax: $361.5 million
- Expected total dividends: NZ$1.78