Annual results of Sealord Group Limited holding company Kura show a 13% increase in net profits after tax to $20.6 million; seasonally adjusted debt levels down by $15 million and a dividend of $16 million paid to owners.
Revenue for the reporting period was $573.5 million up from $530.8 million for the previous year.
The result has been described by CEO Graham Stuart as reasonably solid following a decade of challenges faced by the deep water fishing industry.
“Conditions have been tough with reductions in quota, increases in fuel costs and a strengthening dollar over the last decade. We had to adapt and make some tough decisions, but we are quietly confident this year’s results show what the industry is capable of delivering,” said Stuart.
The results posted cover a 15 month period following a change in balance date to 30 September. Despite the inclusion of two July to September quarters, when most industry players operate at a loss due to the seasonal nature of fishing, results have been strong.
“Global demand for nutritious protein continues to grow and New Zealand seafood is recognised as a sustainable, high quality protein source.
“Sealord is well positioned to capitalise on this and is pushing innovations that continue adding value to our products,” said Stuart.
The improvement in performance was driven by a strong result from the New Zealand deep water fishing business unit.
Sealord’s marketing business in New Zealand and the UK both performed in line with expectation, although returns from the UK business have been adversely impacted by the depreciation in the value of the UK pound.
King Reef, Sealord’s barramundi farming operation in North Queensland was directly impacted by Cyclone Yasi and farming operations performed below expectations.
The New Zealand Green Shell mussel business experienced a much needed firming in market prices, but the benefit from this was offset by a weak US dollar and an infestation of barnacles impacting the North Island farming operations.