14 Nov 2023

Seafood giant Sanford records best revenue result in five years

11:01 am on 14 November 2023
Sanford Big Glory Bay brand salmon.

Photo: Supplied / Sanford

Seafood giant Sanford has recorded its best revenue result in five years, while its bottom line profit fell due to the previous year's one-off gain.

Key numbers for the 12 months ended September compared with a year ago:

  • Net profit $10m vs $55.8m
  • Revenue $553.4 m vs $531.9m
  • Underlying earnings $49.4m vs $40.2m
  • Final dividend 6 cents a share vs 10 cps

Net profit after tax for the year ended September was $10 million compared to last year's $55.8m - which included a one-off $43.7 million dollar gain on the sale of its crayfish quota.

Excluding one-offs, its underlying earnings rose 23 percent despite a fall in volumes.

A lift in revenue to $553.4m was driven by strong pricing and customer demand as well as improved operating efficiencies across the company's three divisions.

The increase came despite a reduction in volumes driven by seasonal factors resulting in a lower squid catch which was down 58 percent year-on-year and lower mussel volumes due to labour shortages.

Sanford said the mussel business had been slow to recover post-covid, with labour issues particularly in processing plants limiting Sanford's ability to take advantage of higher levels of demand during the year.

But Sanford's salmon business continued to perform strongly in the 2023 financial year with profitability ahead of schedule - which was supported by strong branding and pricing.

But the company forecast a stronger 2024 with labour bolstered in mussel processing plants and wildcatch profitability expected to improve.

Sanford chair Sir Rob McLeod said the company had "a clear view of the commercial pathways for our business and are seeing positive benefits from our strategy, which was refreshed in 2023".

"Many of the headwinds seen over the past few years are now easing and we expect the trend of annual improvement to be repeated in FY24.

"This year has seen the implementation of a new organisational structure, new technology platforms and new leadership."

Sir Rob said Sanford's primary goal remained improved profitability.

"We are clearly on the path to recovery, and it is pleasing to deliver a stronger result for our shareholders."

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