Sea Harvest today released its maiden set of results for the year ended 31 December 2017.
The Company reported revenue of R2.13bn, up 10% from 2016 with the continued strong global demand for high value, sustainably certified wild-caught seafood with limited supply driving strong pricing across all channels and markets.
Gross profit was up 19% to R717m with the gross profit margin expanding two percentage points to 34%. Earnings before interest and tax of R383m was up 53% with the EBIT margin expanding to 18%.
CEO, Felix Ratheb commented, “The pleasing increase in profitability was as a result of Sea Harvest benefitting from the improved performance of its South African operations driven by strong market demand globally and exceptional performance of the Saldanha Bay factories.”
“Sixty-one percent of our revenue is now generated internationally, predominantly in Europe and Australia.”
Headline earnings per share increased 91% to 108 cents and the Company declared a maiden cash dividend of 31 cents per share.
Ratheb continued “The Group, with its 80% black-ownership and level 2 BBBEE contributor status, has a clear strategy and is focused on driving earnings growth through investments within its existing operations, as well as through acquisitions in both South Africa and Australia. Good progress has been made on both fronts.”
“On the organic growth front, we have continued to invest in our fleet, with the newly acquired R250m state of the art factory freezer trawler joining the fleet in Q2 this year. We have further invested R100m in our land-based factory operations with further efficiency gains expected from Q4 2018.”
“On the acquisition front, we have announced that we are in advanced negotiations to acquire 51% of the shares of Viking Aquaculture and, as part of a BBBEE Consortium, acquire 100% of the assets of Viking Fishing which would be transformational for the Group.”
“Mareterram, our listed Australian subsidiary, also diversified into the high value Western Australian Spanish Mackerel industry.”
Chairman Fred Robertson congratulated the Group on an excellent set of results and complemented management on driving transformation within the fishing industry and uplifting the communities where the Company operates. During the year, the Group devoted considerable resources to employee skills development, employment equity, supplier and enterprise development, youth empowerment, job creation and rural development.
Mr Ratheb continued “Following the listing, the Group is well capitalised with cash on hand of R383m, complemented by a sizeable revolving credit facility.”