RWC boosts McCain annual profit

23:46, Oct 29 2012

Frozen foods company McCain Foods boosted profit by 27 per cent to $11.4 million for the year ending June, helped along by stronger sales during the Rugby World Cup.

The company, which produces french fries for McDonalds as well as frozen potato products and vegetables and pre-prepared meals, grew revenue by 12.8 per cent year on year to $246.8m, according to Companies Office records from its parent company Australian-owned Weyville Holdings.

Steve Yung, managing director for McCain Foods in New Zealand and Australia, said increased demand for its products and a boost in sales during the Rugby Word Cup a year ago had made for a good year.

The company did not know why sales lifted during the tournament, but the increase was across its range of products.

Yung said McCain was a market leader in potato product sales and had "significant market share in frozen vegetables".

Trends for frozen food sales were in line with the overall economy, "but we have increased sales which is good news for the company, our dedicated workforce and the community".

McCain recently spent $20 million upgrading its vegetable and prepared meal production plant in Hastings which is now the sole frozen vegetable plant in Australia and New Zealand. It also has a potato processing plant in Timaru.

The company employs between 400 and 500 people in New Zealand, with numbers fluctuating depending on the season, and it is supplied by 150 vegetable and potato growers.

McCain Foods NZ produces food for the local market, Australia and some countries in Asia.

The company is supportive of a proposed $230 million irrigation scheme in Hawke's Bay, which would see an 85 metre-high dam built west of Waipawa to manage the flow of the TukiTuki river and enable intensified farming.

In its submission on the project McCain said the area produced at least half of the more than 60,000 tonnes of peas, beans, sweetcorn and carrots processed at the Hastings plant.

McCain had identified the Hawke's Bay as its most reliable and economical source for the production of processed frozen vegetables, and security of supply was an "essential concern".