Excellent Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Ltd result for 2000/2001

Thu, 28 Jun 2001
Chad Brown, Horizon Meats

After a substantial increase in revenue to $83M NZD($60M) up 37% Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Limited achieved a very good trading result. The operating surplus before tax for the year ended 31st March 2001 was $6.3M NZD ($3.4M) and after taxation, the net operating surplus was $4.2M NZD ($2.3M)

In the company's annual report to March 31st, chairman Barry Thomas said several factors contributed to the excellent result.

" A good season, a relatively low New Zealand dollar and strong international markets have made this past year reasonably unique" Mr Thomas said.

As a result prices paid for livestock increased markedly. Some Lamb prices were up 35% and mutton was up a spectacular 74%. The challenge for the future is to maintain this situation for contracted stock suppliers.

The decision to build the new boning room in 1997 has proven to be a good one. Further processing in the new boning room has meant that all carcasses have been processed into consumer cuts. Assisting the company to maintain the high returns paid to it's farmer suppliers this year.

Lamb shipments to Britain increased and markets such as China, Taiwan, Korea, South Africa and Mexico all grew. New Zealand's successful challenge at the World Trade Organization over the United States lamb tariffs is expected to lead to further benefits for what is Blue Sky Meats second largest market.

"The expansion of dairying in Southland will continue to put pressure on our traditional thoughput" Mr Thomas said. "Rather than seeing this as a threat, we must look at the possible opportunities" Calf processing has continued to generate significant sales revenue. This is an activity undertaken at the off-peak period of the sheep season and makes a good contribution toward Blue Sky Meats overheads while providing further employment opportunities.

Voluntary environmental improvements continue with tree planting adn extensions to the riparian trips along boundaries and waterways. Various initiatives to improve the environment around the plant are on going and essential to the long term future and view of Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Ltd as an environmentally aware processor.