NZ: Seeka finds 2016 an "exciting" year with strong profit growth

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NZ: Seeka finds 2016 an

Revenue and profit rose significantly for New Zealand produce company Seeka Limited (NZX: SEK) in 2016, as the group continued to invest in growing capacity and improving infrastructure.

In its results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, Seeka said revenue was up 35% at NZ$191.32 million, while EBITDA rose further still by 78% to reach NZ$24.76 million.

"In addition to Seeka producing a record profit and delivering operational improvements, outstanding fruit handling results were achieved for our growers and customers," the company said in an announcement to the New Zealand Stock Exchange. 

"The company successfully handled record kiwifruit volumes in New Zealand, delivered leading avocado returns from its targeted export programmes, initiated its Australian business operations and continued to develop its retail services business centred on its tropical fruits category in New Zealand. 

"Our strategy of focussing on excellence in everything we do has delivered outstanding results for our stakeholders."

Seeka handled a record volume of New Zealand kiwifruit, up 17% to hit 32.44 million trays, while the group registered excellent avocado returns of NZ$26.86 per tray (+61%) and saw the first harvest of produce grown by Seeka Australia.

The company also built additional coolstores and a new kiwifruit packing machine in Australia, while establishing nursery operations across the Tasman as well and trialing approximately 10 hectares of new varieties in Australia.

"Seeka remains in a strong period of growth. Fuelled by increasing New Zealand kiwifruit volumes the company has invested in growing its New Zealand capacity and improving existing infrastructure," the company said.

"Kiwifruit volumes increased by 17% to 32.44m trays. At the same time Seeka integrated its Australian business and set a platform for growth in that market.

"As a result, the company has year-round branded produce in the Australian market. Turnover increased to $229.40m (up 24%) and revenue to $191.32 (up 35%)."

Seeka Australia recorded revenue of NZ$15.2 million last year and an EBITDA of NZ$1 million, driven by large volumes of kiwifruit (1,915MT) and Nashi pears (1,432MT), in which it is Australia's largest producer in both. 

Seeka Limited has large international shareholders in the form of Farmind Corporation of Japan and Sumifru of Singapore, while its biggest New Zealand shareholder is Te Awanui Huka Pak. 

The company aims to eventually lift its current market capitalization of NZ$82.9 million to NZ$300 million.

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