Premier Fishing & Brands lifted headline earnings by 22%

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CAPE TOWN – Premier Fishing & Brands, a leading black-owned fishing company, lifted headline earnings 22percent to R35million in the six months to February 28, 2019, after benefiting from better pricing, good catch rates and efficient cost and vessel management.

Revenue increased by 55percent to R287m, while operating profit increased by 72percent to R130m. Pre-tax profit was up 78percent to R73m.

A maiden interim dividend of 12cents a share was declared. Headline earnings per share increased to 13.49c from 11.10c a share.

Premier Fishing shares closed 2.87percent higher at R2.15 on the JSE yesterday.

The company harvests, processes and sells marine products, and owns and manages its own factories, abalone farm, facilities and fishing vessels that operate from three provinces.

Premier chief executive Samir Saban said in a statement that he was pleased with the results and the progress Premier had made against its strategy.

“Since listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2017, we have faced tough trading and environmental conditions, but despite this, Premier achieved positive results,” he said.

Most of the operating divisions performed well, reporting an increase in outputs, he added.

Premier’s prime fishing products include rock lobster (south and west coast) – exported to the US, China, Europe and the Far East – abalone (farmed and wild), octopus, squid, swordfish, pilchards, anchovy, hake, horse mackerel, general food products and environment friendly Agri-biotechnology products such as Seagro fertiliser, a by-product of fish-meal.

Saban said they were well positioned to grow organically and pursue further acquisitions. The expansion of the abalone farm in Gansbaai was expected to be completed during the latter half of this year.

Production capacity at the farm would increase to around 350 tons a year of cultivated abalone from 120 tons currently.

Saban said the west coast rock lobster division remained a challenge for the entire fishing industry and Premier had contributed positively to ensuring the resource remained sustainable for the foreseeable future.

The squid division delivered good catch rates, while the steady increase in the average euro selling price and the consolidation of Talhado contributed positively to the operating profits.

Khalid Abdulla, chief executive of majority shareholder African Equity Empowerment Investments, said the growth plans were being implemented in earnest.

Premier’s main strategic focus is on the Fishing Rights Application Process 2020, completion of the abalone farm expansion and pursuing strategic acquisitions in the industry, he said.

This story first appeared on Business Online Report