Semi-annual figures of Australian group positive

Tomatoes boost turnover at Costa Group

Thanks to a good market for citrus and avocados, the Australian Costa Group saw its turnover in the ‘Produce’ segment increase to 55.2 million dollar. In total, turnover over the first six months of the fiscal year rose by almost ten per cent to 489.3 million dollar across the three segments the company is divided in. This was announced by the company.

The Costa Group describes its citrus season as ‘exceptional,’ with a total harvest of 98,000 tonnes. The tomato production also performed well at all locations, particularly in the ten hectares of new greenhouses in which snack tomatoes are grown. For avocados, the takeover of Coastal Avocados in New South Wales will have a positive contribution. Due to the takeover, the company extends its season from February to December, and has an expected production of 300,000 trays per year. Besides, two smaller avocado production companies were taken over in Childers and Atherton.

Because of good performances, the EBITDA for SGARA was 24.2 per cent higher. Profits for the first six months amount to 66.2 million dollar. This is a considerable increase compared to the 15.9 million dollar over the first six months of 2016.

In November last year, Costa Group and African Blue SA reached an agreement about the purchase of another 41 per cent of shares. Costa Group takes over 37 per cent of shares immediately, with an option on the other four per cent in the coming three years. Combined with the 49 per cent of shares of African Blue already in hands of the Costa Group, their total share is now 86 per cent. Because of this, African Blue is now in Australian hands.

African Blue is an integral part of the company, and grows blueberries in Morocco. To that end, Australian varieties that have been developed within Costa are used. From this location, Costa exports the blueberries to the UK and Europe.

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