Strong Asian and New Zealand honey sales were dampened for
health product company Comvita, following supply constraints,
high prices and the strength of the New Zealand dollar.
For its year to March annual result, Comvita posted an 11.4%
rise in revenue to $115.3 million and a 3.3% gain in
after-tax profit to $7.6 million; declaring a fully imputed
dividend of 12c, 1c down on a year ago.
Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said it was ''a year of
two halves'', with first-half trading sales affected by honey
supply shortages, sharp rises in the cost of manuka honey and
profit margins undercut by the strong New Zealand dollar.
''Full-year earnings were suppressed by a sharp increase in
the cost of honey. Supply was restored during the second half
of the year,'' he said.
Those supply constraints are likely to be alleviated in the
future, as Comvita this week announced its $12.3 million
purchase of Timaru-based New Zealand Honey Producers
Co-operative, which represents about 70 mainly South Island
beekeepers whose produce turned over $27.3 million during
With its existing North Island holdings, largely for manuka
honey supplies, Mr Hewlett said with the southern acquisition
''at least 50%'' of honey supply was under direct ownership,
which should help ease pressure over supply shortages.
Mr Hewlett said net debt of $25.3 million was only slightly
up on a year ago, leaving a ''relatively strong'' balance
sheet, with growth anticipated for the year ahead in revenue
and after-tax profit.