Type to search




Clearwater Reports Strong Fourth Quarter and 2018 Annual Results. In 1976, John Risley and Colin MacDonald established Clearwater with a pickup truck, a vision and a lot of entrepreneurial drive. Today the Nova Scotia company has grown to become the largest holder of shellfish licenses in Canada and one of the world’s leading seafood companies.

  • Fourth quarter sales and adjusted EBITDA1 were $159.8 million and $24.1 million versus $174.8 million and $28.5 million in the prior year.
  • Sales and adjusted EBITDA1 for the year were $592.2 million and $104.4 million versus $621.0 million and $108.6 million in the prior year.
  • Record cash generated from operations for the year of $76.5 million, an increase of $18.3 million over 2017.  Strong free cash flow1 of $45.2 million for the year, representing a $53.6 million increase over the prior year. Leverage1 decreased to 4.7x.
  • On March 7, 2019 the Board of Directors approved and declared a dividend of $0.05 per share payable on April 1, 2019 to shareholders of record as of March 18, 2019.

Fourth Quarter and Annual Results

Cash generated from operations of $76.5 million sets a record high and demonstrates the company’s strong ability to generate cash.  Free cash flow increased $53.6 million to $45.2 million as capital expenditures declined following the completion of our fleet renewal program in 2017.

Sales for 2018 were $592.2 million versus $621.0 million in the prior year while gross margin as a percentage of sales increased to 18.0% versus 17.7%.

With the reversal of the Arctic surf clam decision in early August, we were able to convert our restored harvest access into record sales revenue for clam, at lower costs and better margins than in the prior year. Margins rebounded for frozen-at-sea shrimp with improved harvesting conditions and stable pricing while scallop prices fell globally in response to expanding supply conditions (especially in the United States). Sales and margins for whelk, crab and langoustine products benefited from expanded distribution to Asia and North America.

Continued progress in productivity and cost savings helped deliver another solid year.  Investments in research and development and innovation yielded process and quality improvements as well as significant cost savings across our fleet and land-based operations. Organizationally, our late 2017 restructuring and company-wide changes to our sales and operations planning, procurement, financial analysis and reporting processes contributed to improved customer service, better cost visibility and overall profitability.

Average foreign exchange rates positively impacted fourth quarter sales by $3.8 million and 2018 sales by $11.7 million versus the same period of the prior year.

Click here to view the full release.