Net profit fell to $237.8 million in the 12 months ended March, from $361.5m, on a 5.6% dip in annual revenue to $4.22 billion. Global sales volumes shrank 8.9% to 183.5 million trays while licence income dropped to $308.1m from $436.7m.
Payments to growers fell to $2.24bn from $2.47bn. Returns per tray for Green and SunGold kiwifruit fell below Zespri’s forecast, along with returns for organics at the lower end. Fruit quality costs rose to $534.1m from $306.8m.
“This was one of our toughest-ever seasons and the industry worked incredibly hard to deliver our fruit to market, despite facing an extraordinary number of challenges including a significant labour shortage,” CEO Dan Mathieson said.
“We continued to see strong demand and pricing in market and secured more than $100m in savings via our foreign exchange hedging policy. However, quality costs have significantly impacted grower returns, which have dropped from the highs recorded in recent seasons.”
The board approved a final dividend of 18 cents per share, taking the annual return to $1.17, down from $1.78 in the prior year.