New Zealand-based Seeka has posted a 27% rise in post-tax profit in 2018 to NZ$7.42, thanks largely to a sharp rise in kiwifruit volumes.
The grower-exporter harvested and packed 31.4 million trays of the fruit in New Zealand - an increase of 23% - which marks the company's second-highest volume on record and a "rebound" from the previous year. The figure included 10.8 million trays of Zespri SunGold.
"Seeka successfully achieved a number of financial, operational, and strategic goals this year, grew and is well positioned for further growth," the company said.
It highlighted some operations challenges in its banana business - which it said remained "lacklustre" - and in Australia, where kiwifruit vine disease Psa-V was confirmed in an area of its orchards. However, the company said it had taken immediate steps to limit the impact and affirmed it would delay orchards coming into production by a year.
"The orchard development will provide significant opportunity in future years. The development plan, together with management changes, provide a positive outlook for the Australian business," it said.
In 2018 Seeka made several investments and expansions, purchasing the Northland kiwifruit packhouse, orchards, and related business from T&G Horticulture and expanding its coolstore capacity and packing capability to meet both growing kiwifruit production and
additional market share.
"Seeka is further investing in the Northland business with nearly $20m in the construction of a new packhouse, packing machine and coolstores over the next 2 years," it said.
"We are seeing a significant increase in trays supplied by new growers with 0.250m committed so far. Once complete our Northland facility will be world class and a leader in the Northland kiwifruit community."
Based on volume growth in kiwifruit, growing in Australia through orchard improvement and development, its debt repositioning and further infrastructure investment, Seeka said it had a "positive outlook" going forward.