The Sea Harvest Group has seen headline earnings increase by 19% Photo: Sea Harvest GroupThe Sea Harvest Group has seen headline earnings increase by 19% Photo: Sea Harvest Group

The Sea Harvest Group has increased headline earnings by nearly a fifth this year, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earnings reached R202 million (€11.66 million) for the period ending 30 June 2021 whilst group revenue increased 5% to R2.1 billion (€121 million), driven by consistent performance in the South African fishing segment, Cape Harvest Food Group segment and Australian operations. Revenue in aquaculture is improving but the sector is still feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased with our performance, considering we faced headwinds in the form of a 5% reduction in the total allowable catch in 2021, a stronger Rand, additional Covid-19 related costs and operating pressures in our aquaculture segment,” said Sea Harvest Group chief executive, Felix Ratheb.

“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% higher than the prior period, with the operating profit margin expanding to 15%,” he added.

Mr Ratheb expects the trend to continue, boosted by subsidiary Ladismith Cheese’s acquisition of Mooivallei Suiwel Proprietary, a move which will add significant cheese production capacity to the group.

The company is also awaiting the conclusion of the fishing rights allocation process for 2020/21 which should complete in December. “We are confident about the future as we have shown our commitment to working with government and meeting its expectations for the benefit of our country, communities and all our stakeholders,” said Mr Ratheb.

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