SOUTH AFRICA – Oceana, which is dealing with issues around delayed results, axing of senior staff as well as suspensions and resignations, has announced the appointment of Nicole Morgan as the new Company Secretary effective from August 1st 2022.

Nicole is an admitted attorney of the high court with 12 years’ corporate law and company secretarial experience, having served in various capacities in listed corporates.

She holds an LLB degree from the University of Limpopo and a PGDip in Pension Funds Law from the University of the Witwatersrand.

“The Board is satisfied that Ms. Morgan has the requisite knowledge and experience to fulfil the role of Company Secretary for the Group and wishes her well in her role,” stated Oceana.

She would be filling the position left open by Adela Fortune, who resigned from the company in mid-March, to pursue other opportunities.

Fortune’s resignation followed the resignation of CEO Imran Soomra and suspension of CFO Hajra Karrim, who was eventually fired in June for “gross negligence”.

Taking over the helm of the company, the Lucky Star maker appointed Neville Brink, who has served as interim CEO since February this year, as its permanent CEO.

Neville brings a wealth of experience to the role and valuable institutional memory.

He has had an illustrious career in the fishing industry that spans more than 38 years, 27 of which have been with Oceana.

The fishing company has also been struggling with delayed publication of its financial results but beginning of the year, Oceana revealed that it had endured a difficult first half but recovering inventory levels, improved pricing, better fishing and continued strong demand across its product lines point to a stronger second-half performance.

Low opening inventory levels, continued global supply chain disruptions and poor fishing conditions saw revenue decline by 11%, with gross margin 3.7% lower at 30.2% for the six months ended 31 March 2022.

Operating profit declined by 41% to R345 million (US$22.2m) and profit after tax by 52% to R166 million (US$10.6m), after also incurring R42 million (US$2.7m) in additional audit and legal fees related to the delayed publication of its 2021 results. Its headline earnings per share was down 51% to 126.4 cents.

At the Group’s US subsidiary, Daybrook, low opening inventory following poor catch rates and weather disruptions in the previous season resulted in declines of 33% in fishmeal and 15% in fish oil sales. This was somewhat offset by price increases of 5% of fishmeal and 4% for fish oil.

Its Commercial Cold Storage (CCS) business registered decline in revenue and operating profit due to an 9% decrease in occupancy levels and a 16% reduction in capacity following the closure of two stores last year.

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