KENYA – Listed agribusiness firm Kakuzi Plc, has reported a 62% profit growth for the financial year ended 31st December 2022, representing a profit rise to Kshs 845.8 million (US$ 6.45m) net profit compared to Sh319 million (US$2.43m) in 2021.
The company also posted a historical record growth against its pretax profit, which closed at Kshs 1.221 billion, a 159% increase, up from Kshs 472 million in 2021.
The earnings, underpinned by total sales revenue amounting to Kshs 4.434 billion, up from Kshs 3.296 billion posted the previous year, boosted by additional sales for forestry, livestock, and blueberry produce in the local market.
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 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.
The agricultural firm last year became the first commercial exporter of African avocados to China with a shipment of 180 tonnes of fruit loaded in nine containers.
Kakuzi confirmed it is gearing to quadruple its export volumes to the Chinese market for its Hass Avocado variety fruit.
Flowers explained that the firm has invested heavily to ensure compliance with the stringent Chinese market demands, including tree-to-plate traceability protocols.
“Every fruit we export carries the Kenya’s 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.”
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.
“Whilst the Chinese volumes are relatively small at the moment, the development of this new market is critical to Kakuzi and Kenya. We will continue to engage in 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.
While the company is particularly giving a focus on the export markets, it also said there is a priority 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.