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Apata AGM Focused on Operational Excellence

4 September 2008

Apata AGM Focused on Operational Excellence

At Apata’s Annual General Meeting, held in Tauranga yesterday, Chairman Dave Goodwin highlighted Apata’s outstanding operational performance and best ever profitability result for 2007/08.

With a 27% increase in kiwifruit volume, 40% increase in avocado export volume, positive orchard gate returns and fruit loss well under the industry average, Apata’s full year results signal a focus on delivering powerful results for Apata growers, while much of the industry turns inwards and slows, waiting for signs of recovery.

“Apata’s reputation for operational excellence is achieved by focusing on delivering powerful results in inventory management, quality delivery to market and healthy grower returns,” said Mr Goodwin.

“The strong financial results presented here are especially satisfying when we consider the significant structural changes the Company has been undertaking.”

Chief Executive Todd Muller updated shareholders on Apata’s comprehensive strategic review, which was implemented in 2007.

“Board and senior management have forged ahead with organisational, structural and performance-related initiatives, which has focused on investment in people and systems,” said Mr Muller.

“This has resulted in a strong operational performance for 2007/08, from which we will build to achieve tomorrow’s business reality. Our industry will be market led, our supply chain will consolidate, and Apata will be one of the leaders of New Zealand’s kiwifruit and avocado industries by maintaining our quality service delivery platform, with a focus on growing a business that delivers real value to growers and marketers,” said Mr Muller.

Mr Muller presented Apata’s targeted growth plans to shareholders, which includes continuing 10% compound growth each year and capital expenditure on coolstores, canopy space and equipment at Apata’s Turntable road site.

Kiwifruit Highlights for 2007/08
- 27% increase in volume compared to 2006/07
- Excellent fruit loss performance in kiwifruit, well under the industry average: 2.11% for Gold, 4.45% for Green and 0.92% for Organic
- Positive orchard gate returns of $4.34 for Gold, $3.24 for Green and $5.20 for Organic
- 50% supply of national Organic crop
- High ‘taste’ profiles, demonstrating Apata growers’ commitment to delivering quality fruit to the markets

Avocado Highlights for 2007/08
- Increase of 40% export volume compared to the industry average of 10%
- Market share of 25%, a 4% increase on 2006/07
- Industry best orchard gate returns for avocados

Supported by 232 growers and 274 shareholders, Apata Limited is one of New Zealand’s leading kiwifruit and avocado suppliers. During 2007/08 Apata supplied 7.2 million trays of class 1 kiwifruit to ZESPRI International Ltd, and 1.3 million trays of avocados (25% market share) through its exclusive relationship with marketing partner Primor.


ENDS

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