CAPE TOWN: Sea Harvest Group Limited has delivered headline earnings of R410 million for the year ended 31 December 2019, an increase of 48% compared to its previous financial year (2018: R278 million).
Revenue for the year grew 54% to R3.97 billion (2018: R2.58 billion) benefiting from the acquisition of Viking Fishing, Viking Aquaculture and Ladismith Cheese. Operating profit grew 54% to R600 million (2018: R389 million) maintaining an operating margin of 15%.
According to Sea Harvest Group CEO, Felix Ratheb, “The Sea Harvest Group has delivered a pleasing set of results for the 2019 financial year increasing headline earnings per share (HEPS) 33% to R1.49 per share (2018: R1.12). The tough local trading environment was offset by firm demand in our traditional markets of Southern Europe with 44% of the Group’s revenue generated in hard currency sales in developed markets. This strong performance has allowed the Group to declare a dividend of 50c per share, a 25% increase over 2018.”
As one of the most transformed businesses listed on the JSE with 83% black ownership and a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor status, the Group has made good progress in delivering on its strategy of becoming one of the largest black-owned vertically integrated diversified food counters on the JSE with the Group’s operations now encompassing wild-caught fishing in South Africa and Australia complemented by aquaculture and value-added dairy in South Africa.
“The results of the Group’s four operating pillars showed the value of a balanced portfolio where the South African Fishing and Ladismith Cheese businesses delivered solid performances, whilst the Aquaculture business underperformed as a result of the market disruption events in Hong Kong and China. Sea Harvest Australia, whilst not yet at the required levels of profitability, has seen some recovery in prawn catch volumes,” explains Ratheb.
Driving transformation within Sea Harvest and the fishing industry more broadly in South Africa is central to Sea Harvest’s existence and, in 2019, the Group continued to invest significant resources in skills development, employment equity, supplier and enterprise development initiatives, as well as corporate social investment initiatives focused on job creation as well as early childhood, youth and rural development. The Group spent in excess of R300m in 2019 supporting more than 500 SMMEs.
The year under review, being the 3rd year post the Group’s listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), saw a further expansion of the Group’s asset base to R5.52 billion, in line with its organic and acquisitive growth strategy.