21 May 2021

Sanford's half-year profit falls 15% to $16.2m

11:31 am on 21 May 2021

Seafood company Sanford's half-year profit has fallen as it continues to be affected by Covid-19 challenges.

Sanford seafood company.

Photo: Supplied / Sanford

The net profit fell 15 percent to $16.2 million, as its mussel business was hard hit by pandemic disruptions, driving a 5 percent fall in revenue to $233m. The bottom line was boosted by a $13.3m gain on the sale of properties.

Sanford's newly appointed chief executive, Peter Reidie, said the ongoing effects of the pandemic remain a significant challenge.

"Covid-19 has had adverse effects on food service demand, prices, labour and supply chains, especially freight."

He said the company had been able to switch products into different markets, and juggle work at processing plants.

"We continue to manage the Covid impact as best we can, whilst ensuring that we are better positioned for when foodservice markets reopen."

The company reduced stock levels, but price effects were mixed across its divisions, with returns for wildcatch fish steadying, salmon improving and underpinning growth, but mussels under strong pressure.

Reidie said freight costs were up 12 percent because of disruptions and little improvement was expected in the short term.

He said financially the company was in good shape with debt falling slightly, although debt to earnings ratios were up. The company did not declare a dividend.

Sanford's earnings usually improve in the second half of the year, and Reidie said it was remaining flexible to be ready for a broader reopening of food markets.

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