Apples still on track for bumper season

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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While forecasts are down the region is experiencing a bumper apple season, says New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard. Photo/Supplied
While forecasts are down the region is experiencing a bumper apple season, says New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard. Photo/Supplied

The apple season will still be a bumper despite T&G Global's lower first-half-year profit forecast, says New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard.

In a NZX announcement T&G Global reported a 49 per cent decrease in first-half-year profit with poor weather contributing to harvest timing, quality, volume and margin.

"Inclement weather also affected third-party growing partners in New Zealand and internationally, leading to an overall decrease in the volume of fruit available," the statement said.

Profitability was also affected by the northern hemisphere where fruit was available for a longer period, delaying the switch to southern produce.

"These issues led to operating profit for the pipfruit division decreasing by $8.0 million from the same period last year."

Alan Pollard said for the whole season it looked like it would be a similar result to last year nationwide.

"Last year was a record year, so if we do the same we equal our record - you can't complain about that," he said.

He said it was likely some false assumptions were made on the estimate for the year.

"We got some of that wrong, particularly in Nelson, and there is no doubt the weather also had an impact. It slowed the process down and made maturing a bit more difficult. We didn't get those nights you expect and as you'd expect the cyclones were much more warm and moist."

T&G Global was founded in 1897 and named Turners & Growers in 1921.

In 2012 BayWa, a German investment company purchased 72.5 per cent of Turners & Growers, which owned Enza, and later rebranded to T&G Global. In 2015 it acquired Apollo apples.

T&G grows produce in more than 20 countries including apples, grapes, citrus and kiwifruit.

Its revenue of $501.6 million for the six months ended June 30 was an 18.6 per cent increase from the same period last year but "challenging climatic and market factors" on key divisions resulted in a reduction in profit after tax of $10 million compared to the first six months of 2016.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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