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Zespri raises 2016 forecast tray prices, sees earnings growth next year

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

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Zespri International, which holds a monopoly over most kiwifruit exports, raised its forecast tray prices for the 2016 year as the season nears its conclusion, and expects to see earnings pick up in 2017. 

The Mt Maunganui-based company expects to report net profit of between $19 million and $22 million in the year ending March 31, up from a previous forecast range of $16.5 million to $21.5 million, it said in a statement. That compares with a profit of $34.6 million a year earlier, which included a $13.1 million gain on the inclusion of gold kiwifruit license revenue that had been deferred from earlier seasons. The board also approved a preliminary forecast for 2017 profit to be between $26 million and $31 million. 

The earnings upgrade comes after Zespri reported higher per-tray prices across all varieties. The marketer's green fruit forecast lifted to $4.94 per tray from $4.87 in December while organic green rose to $6.98 from $6.86. The forecasts on gold and green 14 trays both lifted by two cents to $7.98 and $6.96 respectively. 

Zespri is placing greater emphasis on its gold 3 varieties, which are more resistant to the Pseudomonas syringae pv actinadiae bacteria, better known as Psa. The canker arrived in New Zealand in 2010, devastating the industry when it infected more than three-quarters of the nation's kiwifruit orchards. 

More detail is promised in a grower roadshow from Feb. 29 to March 8.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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