14 Nov 2019

Sanford pins profit drop on climate change, warming waters

10:54 am on 14 November 2019

Sanford's full year profit has failed to meet expectations as the company says climate change is the biggest risk it faces to its business.

Sanford seafood company.

Sanford announced a 1 percent drop in profits for the year to September. Photo: Supplied / Sanford

New Zealand's largest seafood company reported a 1 percent drop in its net profit for the year ended September to $41.7 million.

"Climate change is the number one risk we face as a business," said chief executive Volker Kuntzsch.

"We see the consequences of warmer waters and adverse weather conditions playing out in the oceans and on our bottom line."

Revenue rose 6 percent to $545m, despite sales volume falling 5 percent to 115,000 tonnes.

He said the three-month tie-up of the vessel, San Granit, had reduced catch volumes, in addition to a decision by Sanford to support an industry initiative to voluntarily forgo 20,000 tonnes of hoki quota on the West Coast as a precautionary sustainability measure.

In May, during its half-year result announcement, Sanford chief financial officer Katherine Turner said ongoing climate challenges had a negative impact on its mussel lines in the Coromandel.

In July, the company made 17 staff redundant at its Bluff processing factory as it planned to move its white-fish operations to Timaru.

Regardless, Mr Kuntzcsh said the company was feeling positive about what could be achieved in the coming year.

"As our heightened level of investment into asset rejuvenation and innovation continues over the next three years, we will be creating greater value for every kilogram of seafood we harvest.

"Along the way, we will need to tackle the challenges of climate change and ensure we stay abreast of rapidly changing customer and consumer expectations."

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