Blue Sky Meats (BSM) is looking ahead to greener pastures after delivering $1.5 million of added value in the first three months implementation of its three-year Strategic Plan.
The value was added during the January to March period in the areas of significantly improved yields, an increase of over double on the volume of chilled lamb exports, and cost savings across the business. This helped to partially offset a 2017 fiscal year loss of $1.9 million on sales of $98 million.
BSM’s CEO, Todd Grave, said despite the loss in 2017, the results for the first three months of the 2018 year were up significantly on budget and previous years which displayed a positive trend for the upcoming season.
“Including the use of the new, fully operational effluent storage pond, we are already seeing the effects from the first quarter of the bottom-up Strategic Plan. The Plan forms the platform for a return to profit and outlines 20 projects which will bring a targeted $7.8 million of added value over the three-year period. The results in the first quarter were double what we’d anticipated.
“In addition, last year the base business, our Morton Mains plant, generated a small profit and we maintained strong selling prices,” Mr Grave said.
Mr Grave acknowledged there was a bit of a ‘financial hangover’ they were dealing with from the 2017 year but the business was very future-focused. Contributors to the loss included one-off, unbudgeted costs such as weather-related delays in the operation of its new effluent pond resulting in lost income, and non-recoverable costs incurred from the NZ Binxi take-over attempt, as well as poor performance from the Gore Beef Plant due to difficult market conditions.
“Since its acquisition in 2014 the Beef Plant has struggled due to high schedule prices and weak overseas market dynamics. The tough decision was made to temporarily close the plant until a long-term feasible solution is identified as part of the Plan,” Mr Grave said.
BSM is currently celebrating 30 years in business and employs 350 staff, of which many will celebrate their 25 year-long service at the upcoming AGM on August 21. With a proud heritage and strong history in the region, Mr Grave said he was thankful to have so many loyal people continuing to contribute to the business.
“We still have relationships with several year-one suppliers, shareholders and staff, and in some instances, three generations of the same family work in the plant.
“Our 2018 year-to-date results show we are on the right track for another 30 years, proving the Plan’s emphasis on modernisation, simplification and innovation is working successfully,” Mr Grave said.