January 06, 2019
Good year for Sealord despite challenges
Sealord chair Whaimutu Dewes is welcoming a boost in the company’s annual profit despite a reduction on the hoki catch.
Kura Limited, which holds the shares for the joint venture between iwi-owned Aotearoa Fisheries, now known as Moana, and Japan’s Nissui, reported a $24.3 million net profit for the year ended September, up from $18.5 million the previous year.
The result was improved by the sale to Nissui of its UK-based fish distribution business Caistor, which lost $3.2 million the previous years.
Mr Dewes says while the business had been profitable in previous years, it had been affected by changes in the UK supermarket sector and competing sources of Icelandic cod.
“It was not making as much as when it started, so we were able to sell it,” he says.
Sealord’s business was also affected by lower returns from its Tasmanian salmon business Petuna.
Efficiency was increased with the arrival of a new $70 million factory trawler, the Tokatū, which can process up to 150 tonnes a day.
The use of new precision harvesting technology should also reduce bycatch and waste.
Administrative expenses were cut by 2.7 percent.
Mr Dewes says the company joined others in the industry to shelve 20,000 tonnes of West Coast hoki quota after fewer fish were observed.
“The industry decided it should get ahead of the problem,” he says.
The company paid a dividend equivalent to 40 percent of profit, split equally between its shareholders.
This allowed Moana to declare an $8.6 million dividend to be shared among its iwi shareholders.
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