Zespri plans new $43m head office to support future growth

Zespri, the country's kiwifruit export marketing body, expects retail sales of the fruit to rise to about $2.3 billion in the 2016/17 season, from $1.9 billion last year.

Zespri Group plans to start construction next year on a $42.8 million head office to create a hub for the expanding kiwifruit industry.

The three-storey complex designed by architects Warren & Mahoney will be built on Zespri's current site in Mount Maunganui, with work scheduled to start in the first quarter of next year and slated for completion by the end of 2018, the company said in a statement. Its current 1970s brick building will eventually be demolished and replaced with parkland.

Zespri, the country's kiwifruit export marketing body, expects retail sales of the fruit to rise to about $2.3 billion in the 2016/17 season, from $1.9 billion last year, and it said today the new building would provide the facilities to support its future growth to $4.5 billion in revenue by 2025.

"Zespri has well and truly outgrown our existing building as the organisation has grown to support our industry's rapid progress," Zespri chief financial officer Dave Hazlehurst said.

The new building will be a hub for the kiwifruit industry, with facilities to host growers and office space for other kiwifruit organisations, he said. It will also serve as a venue to host international trade, government and media delegations on behalf of the industry.

Zespri expects to profit of between $67-70 million in the year ending March 31, 2017, chairman Peter McBride said in a statement.

It raised its forecast for Zespri Organic Green fruit to $6.49 a tray, from $6.45 in October but kept its forecast for Zespri Green at $4.22 a tray. The forecast for Zespri Gold fruit was increased to $8.30 per tray from $8.21 while the Zespri Green14 variety was raised to $5.59 per tray from $5.52.

Zespri shares last traded at $3.20 on the Unlisted market, giving the company a market capitalisation of $386 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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