Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Scales first-half profit falls on European apple price fall

Scales first-half profit falls on lower European apple prices, listing costs

By Suze Metherell

Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Scales Corp, the listed fruit and vegetables logistics company, said first-half profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, reflecting lower apple prices and the one-off costs of its NZX listing.

Profit was $20.6 million in the six months ended June 30, down from $26.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $150.2 million.

Scales debuted on the NZX in July at $1.60 per share. Of the $148 million worth of shares sold, $30 million was new capital to be used to reduce debt, while private equity firm Direct Capital sold into the offer, reducing their stake to 20 percent from 84.2 percent. Shares of Scales last traded at $1.53, and have fallen 4.4 percent below its offer price.

The company is New Zealand's largest apple exporter and also owns businesses across the primary sector, including sea and air freight services, cold store operations, and food ingredients, pet foods and juice concentrate businesses. Last year the company lifted annual profit 50 percent to $20.4 million, on the back of rising Asian demand for apples.

"We are continuing to develop our presence in Asia and other near markets, aided by the fact we expect premium variety apple plantings to yield increased volumes for 2015," said managing director Andy Borland. "Together with a group of other primary sector New Zealand exporters, we are establishing ServeCo, a collaborative venture based in Shanghai which is designed to assist the partners' trade into China."

The company is boosting its cold store network's capacity by 16 percent, building an 8,700 square metre Polarcold plant at the Ports of Auckland inter-modal freight hub at Wiri, South Auckland. Fonterra Cooperative Group had already signed on to use half of the space, Borland said, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year.

Its horticulture segment, which includes its Mr Apple business, orchards, and fruit packing and storage businesses, increased sales 1.9 percent to $90.1 million in the six months, while operating earnings slipped 11 percent to $23 million. Scales blamed a drop in European apple prices for the decline, which it said was partially offset by higher volumes, with its Mr Apple final export volume 7 percent above forecast, and higher early season prices.

Storage and logistics increased sales by 4 percent to $61 million, while profit slipped 7.7 percent to $7.9 million. Sales in its food ingredients business rose 12 percent to $18.8 million, for a 3.4 percent gain in earnings of $2.8 million.

Improved operating cash flows meant Scales halved its forecast net working capital facility to $11.2 million, reducing forecast average prospective net debt to $38.2 million, below its prospectus forecast of $44.1 million, it said.

In its offer documents, Scales forecast net profit to fall to $15.9 million in 2014, before rising to $20.8 million in 2015.

"We have hit out targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result," said chairman Jon Mayson.

According to its prospectus, Scales expects to pay a dividend of between 9.4 cents per share and 9.6 cents per share, implying a gross dividend yield of 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent, for the 2014 financial year, and between 10.5 cents to 10.7 cents per share, for a gross yield of 8 percent to 9.1 percent, the following year.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news