The Manila Times

AgriNurture reacquires fresh produce company


LISTED produce exporter AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) has completed the reacquisition of an Australian fresh produce trading company.

In a disclosure on Monday, AgriNurture said it reacquired Freshness First Pty, Ltd. “for the sum of AU$1.00” [approximately P36.58] last Friday, thereby making the Queensland-based company a fully owned subsidiary following reacquisition efforts that began in late 2018.

To recall, AgriNurture sold off Freshness First in 2015 through its foreign subsidiary AgriNurture HK Holdings Ltd. to focus on its key businesses locally and improve its balance sheet ratios.

The effort to reacquire Freshness First began when the “then ANI board authorized the expansion of the company’s business operations in Australia through the acquisition of existing companies,” AgriNurture Chairman Antonio Tiu said in a statement.

“The acquisition of Freshness First is consistent with ANI’s primary mandate of involvement in agriculture-related activities, and gives it a footprint on the vast and promising Australian landscape to explore,” he added.

Freshness First provides agriculture products to major institutional clients across the state of Queensland and operates under its wholly owned and controlled subsidiaries, BSK Pty Ltd. and Michsul Pty Ltd.

“Despite challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and a major Brisbane flood during early 2022, said subsidiary managed to steer toward recovery,” generating $12.8 million in annual revenues as of July 2023, slightly higher than that of the same period last year, AgriNurture said.

AgriNurture reported last month that its consolidated revenues dropped to P1.89 billion in the first half of 2023 from P1.96 billion a year earlier as export sales declined by 29 percent to P555.46 million from P782.88 million.

This was attributed to lower exports of bananas and other products on reduced demand from China and stiffer competition from other Southeast Asian suppliers.

The decrease in export revenues resulted in an 18-percent drop in consolidated gross profit to P222.94 million in the first half from the previous year’s P272.449 million.

As a result, the company recorded a P9.21 million net profit in the January to June period, down by a significant 86 percent from P65.55 million previously, as higher expenses and a change in the fair value of biological assets also weighed on its bottom line.

AgriNurture shares were unchanged at P3 each on Monday amid a slight 0.03 percent dip for the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index.

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The Manila Times