Monday, April 22, 2024

T&G looks to the future

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Listed horticultural company T&G Global took a number of hits in the first six months of this year resulting in 2.9% reduction in revenue and a 44% fall in operating profit. Reporting its interim results for the six months to June 30, the company cited disrupted shipping channels and the need for some ship chartering, along with the hail storm in Nelson province and shortages of skilled pickers.
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Listed horticultural company T&G Global took a number of hits in the first six months of this year resulting in 2.9% reduction in revenue and a 44% fall in operating profit.

Reporting its interim results for the six months to June 30, the company cited disrupted shipping channels and the need for some ship chartering, along with the hail storm in Nelson province and shortages of skilled pickers.

Chief executive Gareth Edgecombe said the first had been challenging, with ongoing uncertainty and volatility.

World demand for fresh produce and the growth in premium brands were impacted by the international supply chain challenges.

T&G worked with other businesses and industries to charter some vessels but its financial performance felt the consequences.

Total revenue was $652 million, of which apples accounted for $425m, down 15.5% from the previous corresponding period.

The adverse weather in Nelson hit the company’s own crop and that of its growers, and apples also ripened early, creating a race to get them off the trees with a shortage of skilled workers.

“We worked hard to address the shortage of skilled and experienced workers, hiring more than 950 New Zealanders throughout the season.

“We also invested heavily in automation, welcoming eight new state-of-the-art automated picking platforms to increase productivity on our Hawke’s Bay orchards, while also assisting in reducing injuries. 

“Despite these efforts, at the peak of the season we were still short around 300 people a day.”

T&G has announced 150 new permanent positions in its apple division, open to people new to the industry.

The new roles are being advertised internally amongst the company’s casual and contracted seasonal workforce, as well as externally in the local community.

These will have time in harvest and post-harvest aspects, along with the new 2D structures to enable automated picking.

Operations director Craig Betty says although the roles will provide support at the peak of the apple season, T&G will still need to recruit thousands of people nationwide for the upcoming season.

“With these new positions, we expect our productivity to increase as we build our skills and capabilities, however we’ll still require additional seasonal team members to join us throughout the harvest.”

T&G Global is 74% owned by the BayWa AG company of Germany and 20% by Wo Yang fruit distributor in China.

New chair Benedikt Mangold says despite the financial performance, T&G’s underlying financial strength, combined with its strategy and capabilities, means it is well positioned to maximise future global growth.

During the six months the company’s share price remained between $2.90 and $3.

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