12 Nov 2020

Sanford profit almost halved

11:02 am on 12 November 2020

The fishing company Sanford has had its profit almost halved by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sanford seafood company.

Photo: Supplied / Sanford

Net profit for the year ended September was down 46 percent to $22.4 million, which the company called disappointing.

Its revenue fell by 14 percent on last year to $469m as the pandemic hammered the food services industry globally and led to falling prices for salmon and slower sales.

Sales were not helped by poor toothfish catches throughout the year, which is a high-value product for the company.

The result was in line with forecasts made by the company recently.

Sanford's acting chief executive Andrew Gargiulo said like many seafood companies it had suffered because of its reliance on food service sales.

"We know that globally, the majority of seafood is consumed out of home. Our food service channels have been a key part of our portfolio and they were hit hard by the lockdowns we saw around the globe.

"We acknowledge this is a disappointing result, both for our investors and for our people, who have worked incredibly hard through the extra challenges brought on by the pandemic."

It had been a tough year for the company, as it closed its Tauranga factory and axed 66 jobs because of lower processing volumes, and the abrupt resignation of its chief executive, Volker Kuntzsch, in September after seven years with the company

The company has refocused its sales approach towards retail consumers.

"We are confident that our strategy to get closer to our consumers and maximise the value of our products is the right one that will see us recover from the immediate impact of Covid-19."

In September, the companyacquired a majority stake in the beauty products company Two Islands.

The company would not be paying a dividend to shareholders.