Seafood manufacturer Sea Harvest has achieved headline earnings growth of 19% year-on-year to R202-million for the six months ended June 30.
This while earnings a share came in 27% higher year-on-year at 77.7c.
The company says its results were driven by consistent performances from its South African fishing segment, its Australian operations and the Cape Harvest Food Group segment, which includes the Mooivallei Suiwel operations it acquired with effect from August 2.
The aquaculture segment, however, remains heavily impacted by Covid-19 and its impacts on global markets.
CEO Felix Ratheb states that Sea Harvest delivered a strong performance despite facing some headwinds in the period under review, including a 5% reduction in the total allowable catch in 2021, a stronger rand, additional Covid-19-related costs and operating pressures in the aquaculture segment.
The net Covid-19-related costs of R16-million incurred in the period included measures to ensure a safe working environment at sea-based and land-based operations, including the provision of personal protective equipment, transport, screening and testing.
Nonetheless, Ratheb notes that Sea Harvest benefitted from good fishing conditions, first export and local retail markets, and a sound hedging strategy in the six months under review.
The group posted an operating profit of R323-million, which was a 26% increase year-on-year. It also expanded its operating profit margin to 15% in the reporting period.
Chairperson Fred Robertson comments that the board is pleased with the positive financial results that Sea Harvest continues to deliver.
“We are particularly proud that Sea Harvest has earned the South African government’s confidence with the Group’s Saldanha Bay operation becoming a pilot vaccination centre for the agriculture/fishing sectors.
The first vaccines were administered at the site on July 23.
“This initiative demonstrates the group’s commitment to working with government to achieve the desired objective of health and wealth for everyone.”
Looking ahead, Ratheb expects the company’s performance to continue on a strong upward trajectory, which will be boosted by the Mooivallei Suiwel acquisition in particular.
“We are looking forward to the conclusion of the fishing rights allocation process for 2020/21.
“According to guidelines gazetted, the process should culminate in December, and we are confident about the future, as we have shown our commitment to working with government in achieving its National Development Plan 2030 priorities and meeting its expectations for the benefit of our country, communities and all our stakeholders,” Ratheb points out.