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Blue Sky reports best result in 8 years


By Rebecca Howard

July 4 (BusinessDesk) - Southland meat processor and marketer Blue Sky Meats says the year to March was its best result in eight years as a strategic plan bore fruit.

The company, which is due to release its annual report shortly, said the March financial year ended with revenue up by 34 percent to a record $140 million. Pre-tax profit was up 36 percent at $5 million.

The company processed 25 percent more stock for a total of 742,000 and said the results were heartening given the sustained high schedule prices and declining total sheep numbers the industry experienced throughout the period.

Chief executive Todd Grave said it was a pleasing result but he was pushing ahead to improve performance.

“We still have some way to go in terms of improving these metrics and delivering them consistently to our shareholders,” said Grave. The implementation of Blue Sky Meats’ strategic plan continues to make significant gains for the business, exceeding the targets set two years ago, he said.

Grave launched a comprehensive strategic review of the company after he took over as chief executive in October 2016.

“We’re two years into the plan and we’ve seen the scale and profit of our business grow substantially," he said.

The operations team have made efficient use of the Gore facility through the further processing of offal into pet food ingredients, and additional opportunities are now being explored for its ongoing use, he said.

The current plant capacity infrastructure at Morton Mains still constrains growth. However, additional throughput was achieved, and an $11 million capital expenditure programme is underway.

The company's biggest shareholders are China's Binxi Cattle Industry Co with 19.8 percent and Hastings-based meat processor Lowe Corp with 17.95 percent.

The shares, which are listed on the Unlisted exchange, last traded at $1.30.

(BusinessDesk)

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