SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR SEALORD GROUP DESPITE PANDEMIC
Successful year for Sealord Group despite pandemic. Sealord Group Ltd of New Zealand has reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of NZD $29.3 million for its financial year ended September 30, 2020. This includes a one-off adjustment of $4.7 million as a result of the Petuna Aquaculture acquisition. Excluding this one-off adjustment, NPAT would have been NZD $34 million, 6% higher than the 2019 result.
The company successfully achieved its Plan for the year despite facing challenges due to COVID-19. Reported revenue increased 11% from the previous year to NZD $399 million.
Sealord Group CEO Doug Paulin said the group had an excellent start to the year and then successfully dealt with the early challenges of COVID-19 in various markets, with most of the major export shipping and market consumption downsides contained to the final quarter.
He said the result is attributed to the strong performance of the company’s fishing, aquaculture and land-based processing operations, high sales of frozen and canned fish as more people ate at home, as well as positive pricing in the first half of the year.
In February, Sealord purchased the remaining 50% of Tasmanian salmon producer Petuna Aquaculture, which also had a strong result on the back of excellent operational performance, despite pricing impacts of COVID-19.
It is noted that one-off acquisition costs, including Australian landholder duties, transaction costs and deferred tax liabilities required to be recognised under acquisition accounting rules means that the acquisition did not increase overall NPAT for Sealord in this financial year, however it will do in future years.
Nga Tapuwae o Maui, the arrangement announced in March 2019 between Sealord and iwi (allowing Sealord access to ACE on a long-term basis, with greater returns to iwi), enables Sealord to work with a more consistent catch plan. Paulin said continued support from iwi through Nga Tapuwae o Maui was another factor in the company’s successful year.
“Given the impact of COVID-19, we’re very pleased with our overall result. We nimbly responded to the various challenges that came our way during the pandemic with increased collaboration across the business. Providing a safe working environment to ensure our people were comfortable continuing to work in our factories and on our vessels was essential,” he says.
“Thanks to our strong position, there was no requirement for the wage subsidy from the New Zealand Government and there were no job losses. We were also in the fortunate position to be able to increase our community and iwi contributions during FY20.”
Sealord Chairman Whaimutu Dewes said:
“This year, as you can see, Sealord has embodied the Māori proverb ‘Kia eke Panuku, Kia eke Tangaroa’ – we have realised inspiration from Tangaroa to attain success, excellence and progress. Our thanks to our staff, shareholders, customers and partners for their work and their support.”
Paulin said he expects FY21 to be tougher, as the impacts of COVID-19 are fully felt across the company.
“Like other fishing companies and export businesses, we face challenges in delivering our products to offshore markets, and reduced consumption opportunities for many of our consumers with restaurant and food service outlets impacted by lockdown restrictions.”