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Comvita will report 1H profit over $3M

Comvita will report 1H profit over $3M, confirms annual guidance on normal honey harvest

By Sophie Boot

Jan. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Comvita expects to report a "significant turnaround" in its first-half results, with net profit over $3 million, and says it is tracking in line with its full-year guidance after good weather in December and January boosted the honey harvest.

The Te Puke-based company, due to report its earnings for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2017, later this month, said the honey season has progressed to a point where it has early estimates of an average or normal harvest season, though it won't have full visibility of the crop until April/May. The company's chief executive Scott Coulter said it was a "welcome return to generally favourable weather conditions conducive to producing honey, compared to the extremely poor season in 2017."

"On the back of strong sales growth in most of our export markets and a solid recovery in the grey channel from New Zealand and Australia into China, we expect to report a significant turnaround on the FY17 half-year loss and an improvement on our record $3 million net profit for the FY16 half year," Comvita said.

In 2017, the company turned to a first-half loss of $7.1 million due to a weaker honey harvest and Chinese authorities cracking down on people selling its products through informal trading channels. It then reported a net profit of $9.8 million in the year to June 30 versus $18.5 million in the audited accounts for the 15 months to June 2016, having changed its financial year to June from March in the previous financial year.

At its annual meeting in October last year, the company said it was confident of posting annual net profit over $17.1 million, based on an assumption of a normal 2017/18 honey production season and a solid recovery of the grey channel into China.

"Given our apiary profit comes into the second half of our financial year, we are very pleased with how our financial result for the full year is tracking," said chair Neil Craig.

The shares last traded at $9.17, up 0.2 percent today and 27 percent in the past year.

(BusinessDesk)

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