Zespri Marks Record 2020/21 Season

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson

Increased sales, the ongoing expansion of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit production, and great quality fruit underpinned by strong international demand have delivered a record result for Zespri’s 2020/21 season, returning record per tray returns across all categories.

This is according to Zespri, which has released its Financial Results for the 2020/21 period.

The results show total global revenue generated by fruit sales reached NZ$3.58 billion, up 14 percent on the previous year, while total global operating revenue increased by 16 percent to NZ$3.89 billion. Global sales volumes were up 10 percent on the previous year to 181.5 million trays.

Direct returns to the New Zealand industry increased by 15 per cent to $2.25 billion in spite of the considerable uncertainty generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Earnings are spread through many regional communities including the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Nelson, Gisborne, and the Waikato, providing support to people, communities and businesses across the country.

Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron noted that the results reflect the continued strong demand for Zespri Kiwifruit around the world, boosted by the industry’s hard work and investment to increase demand and supply.

“After a season where we were forced to make such significant changes to our operations with a focus on keeping our people safe, getting our fruit to the world, and continuing to invest for the future, it’s pleasing to see such encouraging results for the industry,” said Cameron.

“Demand for both Zespri Green and Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit increased, and we’re pleased to see growing interest in our newest variety, Zespri Red, which is a testament to our industry’s ongoing investment in innovation and finding new ways to add value for New Zealand and our international production bases.”

Outlook for 2021

With the 2021/22 New Zealand season now well underway, nearly all Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit has been submitted into inventory and the harvest of Green is in full swing.

Mathieson said Zespri is expecting another record-breaking crop of Zespri Kiwifruit this year, again underpinned by the expansion of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit production as well as Zespri Red.

“Our sales and marketing programmes are in full swing and demand from our markets is incredibly strong with our fruit selling quickly. However, we are facing headwinds including industry capacity constraints, rising costs and securing enough people to get our fruit to the world, as well as pandemic-related disruption to our shipping channels and distribution in some of our markets.

“We’re working hard as an industry to overcome these challenges in order to deliver ongoing positive value to all our stakeholders and New Zealand as we continue to grow as an industry, though we do expect they will remain an issue in the medium term.”

2020/21 Financial results summary:

Zespri global operating revenue: NZ$3.89 billion

Zespri global fruit sales revenue: NZ$3.58 billion

Total New Zealand-grown fruit and service payments including loyalty premium: NZ$2.25 million

Zespri global trays sold: 181.5 million trays

Zespri’s net profit after tax: NZ$290.5 million

Expected Total Dividends: NZ$1.33

“We know that our success is only possible with the support of our communities and it’s important to us that we continue to recognise that,” continued Mathieson.

“We’re delighted a record NZ$2.25 billion will be returned to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, and to know that those returns will support jobs and communities around the country.”