T&G Global held its 100th Annual Shareholder Meeting today, reviewing the 2020 financial year and providing insight into the economic outlook for the next six months, as well as celebrating the service of its outgoing Chairman and welcoming his successor.
Financial highlights included the fact the Company delivered a strong profit result, despite uncertainty and challenges due to COVID-19. T&G reported an increased overall revenue of $1.4 billion, from $1.2 billion in 2019, as well as an increase in profit after tax to $16.6 million, from $6.6 million in the year prior.
T&G’s outgoing Chairman, Professor Klaus Josef Lutz, said the results were pleasing at a time of international uncertainty and volatility in global markets.
Professor Lutz leaves his role as T&G Chairman after nine years at the helm, and today reflected on the Company’s position now and into the future.
“The strategic programme of work that T&G has undertaken over the past nine years has been immense. Enabling the selling of non-core assets allowed reinvestment into growth activities, contributing to the development of new plant varieties and world class genetics, redevelopment of orchards and the introduction of state-of-the-art technology and automation.
“This strategic growth continues, and with its focused business strategy, strong leadership and continual improvements, T&G is primed to harness opportunities into the future. I’m proud of the incredible transformation the business has made in the past nine years,” said Professor Lutz.
Incoming Chairman, Benedikt Mangold, leads BayWa’s Global Produce division and has previously worked at T&G. He says he is honoured to be appointed Chairman.
“There is unabated demand internationally for high quality fresh produce, and this creates an incredible opportunity for both T&G and BayWa’s Global Produce business. I have a deep understanding and passion for T&G’s business following three years working within the Company in New Zealand. A lot of work has gone into creating a strong foundation, positioning T&G well for future growth, and I look forward to harnessing my knowledge and experience and working alongside our strong Board and talented leadership team to further strengthen the business,” said Benedikt Mangold.
T&G Chief Executive, Gareth Edgecombe, reflected on a challenging but strong year.
“The pleasing financial results from FY2020 are a result of excellent teamwork and an ongoing transformation to improve our underlying performance. Our focus on ensuring we have an inspiring purpose and clear strategic direction that is supported by our entire team, has played a big part in delivering these positive results.”
Edgecombe also commented on the outlook for the 2021 financial year.
“While we thought 2020 was a difficult year, 2021 is shaping up to be even more of a challenge.
“It was a tough start to the season for our Apples business, with adverse weather in Nelson impacting a significant portion of our own crop, and that of our growers.
“At the same time, the impact of COVID-19 continues to present a number of challenges, including a shortage of seasonal workers and disruptions throughout the global logistics system.
“Our team did a phenomenal job hiring over 950 New Zealanders throughout the season to work alongside a reduced number of Recognised Seasonal Employer team members. However, at the peak of the season we were still short around 300 people per day, which meant we had to leave some produce unpicked, including export apples.
“Like many exporters, supply chain congestion and a shortage of containers is impacting how we get our fresh produce to global markets. Our team is working tirelessly to source charter ships and partner with other businesses and industries, to ensure we can meet customer demand.
“Furthermore, our T&G Fresh domestic business has been operating in a difficult environment and the team is well progressed in addressing these challenges, as well as delivering increased synergies from our 2020 acquisition of Freshmax NZ Limited.
“While many of the challenges we’re facing are industry wide, I’m confident T&G has the right strategy, the best people and the fortitude to get through them. We’re doing everything we can to build on the underlying financial strength in our business and I know we’ll be able to meet these challenges head on,” said Edgecombe.