Fishing company posts good results but hopes to see rights allocation concluded timeously
CEO looks forward to continued resilience
SOUTH AFRICA: The Sea Harvest Group continues to demonstrate its resilient and defensive nature with a consecutive set of stable interim results amid the current COVID-19 global crisis, but Chief Executive Officer, Felix Ratheb is anxious to see the conclusion of the fishing rights allocation process (FRAP) 2020/21.
The Group delivered headline earnings of R202 million for the period ended 30 June 2021, 19 percent ahead of 2020. Earnings per share increased 27 percent to 77.7 cents per share. Group revenue for the period increased by five percent to R2.1 billion.
The Group’s results were driven by consistent performances from its South African fishing segment, the Cape Harvest Food Group segment (which includes Ladismith Cheese) and its Australian operations. The Aquaculture segment, while showing an improving revenue trend and more than doubling revenue, remains severely impacted by the effects of COVID-19 on global markets.
Sea Harvest Group Chief Executive Officer, Felix Ratheb, states that, “We are pleased with our performance, considering we faced headwinds in the form of a five percent reduction in the total allowable catch in 2021, a stronger Rand, additional COVID-19 related costs and operating pressures in our Aquaculture segment. However, we benefitted from good fishing conditions, firm export and local retail markets and a sound hedging strategy, delivering operating profit of R323 million for the period, 26 percent higher than the prior period, with the operating profit margin expanding to 15 percent.”
Ratheb adds that during the period under review, the Group stayed its course. “We have remained true to our corporate anchors, which include driving transformation and acting responsibly with Sea Harvest Group retaining its Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor status. The Sea Harvest Foundation continued its good work on community-based projects in all the areas in which the Group operates. Together with our majority shareholder, Brimstone, we have also maintained our sponsorship of the South African Fisheries Development Fund to empower small-scale businesses in the fishing and allied sectors.”
Looking ahead to H2 2021, Ratheb expects the Group’s performance to continue its strong trajectory, boosted by the acquisition of 100 percent of the issued capital of Mooivallei Suiwel Proprietary Limited (“Mooivallei”) by Sea Harvest Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Ladismith Cheese.
Ratheb concludes, “We are anxiously looking forward to the conclusion of the fishing rights allocation process (FRAP) 2020/21. According to guidelines gazetted, the process should culminate in December 2021, 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.”