Kakuzi Plc has posted a Kshs 845.8 million net profit for the financial year ended 31st December 2022, representing a 62% after-tax profit growth.
The leading Avocado and Macadamia grower and exporter attained a historical record growth against its pretax profit, which closed at Kshs 1.221 billion, a 159% increase, up from the Kshs 472 million posted the previous year.
Speaking when he confirmed the release of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm trading results, Kakuzi Plc Managing Director Mr. Chris Flowers attributed the earnings growth to increased production volumes of quality export-grade Avocado as well as other products experiencing reasonable sales.
The earnings, underpinned by total sales revenue amounting to Kshs 4.434 billion, up from Kshs 3.296 billion posted the previous year, Mr. Flowers said, were also boosted by additional sales for forestry, livestock, and blueberry produce in the local market.
Kakuzi shareholders will enjoy an 8% per share dividend paid at Shs 24 rate as recommended by the board, up from the Kshs 22 payout the previous year. The enhanced dividends shall be paid on 30th June 2023 to the shareholders on the members register as at the close of business on Wednesday 31st May 2023.
“The Kakuzi Plc market and product diversification strategies complimented by the enhanced environment, social and corporate governance commitments are paying off, as the trading results indicate. The diversification efforts help to mitigate market and production risks associated with agri-business; however, international market trends will always impact our results,” Flowers said.
As part of the market diversification efforts, Kakuzi, he confirmed, is gearing to quadruple its export volumes to the Chinese market for its Hass Avocado variety fruit. Last year (2022), Kakuzi became the first commercial exporter of African avocados to China with a shipment of 180 tons of fruit loaded in nine containers of quality export-grade avocados.
“Whilst the Chines volumes are relatively small at the moment, the development of this new market is critical to Kakuzi and Kenya. We will continue to engage trade partners in China and work with the Kenyan authorities to open up new markets for avocados in our quest to grow the Kenyan avocado industry,” Flowers said.
He reiterated the firm’s commitment saying, “Every fruit we export carries the Kenya quality reputation. Both the Europeans and the new Chinese market are demanding high-quality fruit, and that’s got to be our enduring objective; giving our customers a fruit they want more of while sustaining Kenya’s market and brand positioning.”
The company, he said, has invested heavily to ensure compliance with the stringent Chinese market demands, including tree-to-plate traceability protocols.
To sustain production, Kakuzi has also expanded its Avocado orchards by a further 60 hectares, up from 927 hectares at a Kshs 120 million investment cost, to meet the ever-growing demand for quality superfoods globally.
He added, “While the particular focus is trained on the export markets, we are also focusing on progressive domestic market growth with quality forestry, blueberries, macadamia, and livestock products for the retail and wholesale markets.”
Last year, among other achievements, Kakuzi received a global certification confirming that its Avocado and Blueberry farming operations adhere to sustainable water resource management approaches. The firm received the GLOBALG.A.P. “SPRING” Certificate of Conformity, a farm-level certification that helps producers, retailers, and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management.
As part of its corporate sustainability, Kakuzi has been actively preserving water catchment areas strategically to stretch the rains for irrigation purposes. More than 20% of Kakuzi’s land area is under strict water catchment conservation and preservation.