Fishing companies return strong results
Friday 30 November 2018
Sanford, which aspires to be the world’s best seafood company, is embarking on a $100 million investment programme over the next two years.
The Big Glory Bay ocean farmed king salmon brand will receive a $10 million boost in marketing and hatchery capability and capacity.
A similar amount is earmarked for mussel derivatives that promote good health.
The company acquired Blenheim-based Enzaq last year and has doubled mussel powder capacity.
The nutraceuticals arm of its mussels operation based in Havelock is developing a Sea to Me brand.
Sanford has also invested heavily in SPAT NZ’s green lipped mussel hatchery in Nelson, the only such facility in the world.
Rejuvenation of the fishing fleet is also on the agenda.
The deepwater fleet will receive $15 million, with another $3 million for inshore upgrading as well as infrastructure upgrade in most of the processing plants around the country.
The deepwater investment programme includes replacing a scampi vessel.
The Auckland Fish Market in the rapidly expanding Wynyard quarter is being revamped as part of a $10 million investment in the fresh fish category.
This redevelopment includes 10 eateries, a revitalised fresh fish market and the popular Seafood School and is due to open in mid-December.
“It is a vehicle for encouraging more consumption of fresh fish, putting into practice our commitment to share the natural goodness of the oceans with uncompromising care,” according to chair Paul Norling and chief executive Volker Kuntzsch.
Celebrity chef Annabel Langbein is also joining the Sanford team, along with home delivery business Fresh Catch.
Just as the wider seafood industry has done with its Promise campaign and adoption of a Code of Conduct, Sanford acknowledges that while always striving to do what’s right, “sometimes we fall short of our own high standards.
“Our report celebrates our achievements while acknowledging we still have a long way to go in some areas.”
Sanford’s extensive annual report was this year recognised in the Deloitte Top 200 Awards in winning the Excellence in Governance category after being a finalist last year.
Climate change is rated as the most significant risk facing the company.
Last summer’s marine heatwave reduced salmon growth rates at Stewart Island and sales were suspended for 10 weeks.
Mussel growth and yields in the Marlborough Sounds were also reduced. Harvesting was interrupted for a prolonged period due to an algal bloom produced by higher temperatures.
Sanford, founded in Auckland in 1881, is the country’s largest quota holder with 22 percent of the total.
It operates 22 deepwater and inshore vessels. Its catch represents 808 million meals.
The publicly listed company’s financial goal is to move its products up the value chain to achieve a gross return of $1 per kilo.
That value indicator has gone from $0.57c to $0.63 year on year.
Net profit was $42.3million, a 12.9 percent increase, on revenue of $515 million.
Ngai Tahu Seafood has also returned a strong result, a record $28.7m profit.
The company has restructured its seafood business, exiting mussels and building its rock lobster market in China.
However, reliance on one species is a risk, the annual report notes.
“Therefore we need to develop an innovative approach to getting added value from other quota species.”
That sums up the focus for all seafood companies.
Wild catch volumes under our Quota Management System are not going to increase markedly.
It is about adding value to that limited catch and growing aquaculture.
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