Turners & Growers 1H profit up 2.2%, forecasts FY growth

BUSINESSDESK: Turners & Growers, the fruit marketer controlled by Germany’s BayWa Aktiengesellschaft, posted a 2.2% increase in first-half profit and is on track to improve its full-year operating result.

Profit rose to $7 million in the six months ended June 30, from $6.9 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company says. Sales increased 1.9% to $478 million.

"Due to the group’s strengthened relationships with the Asian markets and robust volumes in all the major produce varieties, the Turners & Growers Group is heading towards an improved full-year operational result over last year, accompanied by higher apple grower returns, providing a strong base for the future," the company says.

The New Zealand market traded "satisfactorily" in difficult times and all major markets "performed well", delivering a significant lift in prices. The introduction of a new management system meant the company benefited from improved market prices despite the high New Zealand dollar.

That means apple growers returns should be significantly better than in 2011.

ENZA Foods, the company's processing, marketing and distribution arm, continues to grow its retail and food services portfolio in Australasian and Asian markets. Its full-year result is "expected to be a solid improvement on 2011".

Status Produce, the company's growing operation, tracked close to budget in the first six months of the year even as New Zealand and Australia's returns were lower than anticipated after wet and cool summers in the Hawke's Bay and Nelson.

Shares in the company are currently unchanged on $1.68. The stock has shed about 5 percent this year.

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Other NZ listed cies should do the same...eliminating more than half of top level management.

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