SOUTH AFRICA – Sea Harvest Group, a company that harvests and processes seafood in South Africa, reported a 27% increase in revenue to R5.9 billion (US$317M) for the year ended December 31st, despite the many unprecedented challenges it disclosed to have faced.

The company managed to contain its headline earnings from decreasing beyond 33% as well even after pointing out that 2022 was one of the most challenging financial years of the last decade.

The challenges the company faced were mainly brought upon by an increase in input costs and lower available volumes due to factors like the persistent energy crisis currently plaguing South Africa.

According to the yearly results, Sea Harvest incurred additional costs of R361 million (US$19.4M) on account of a 90% increase in fuel price and load shedding.

Load shedding in particular cost the company about R20 million (US$1.08M) in the final quarter of 2022 (Q422)

The Group’s CEO, Felix Ratheb, informed that even though the price of fuel has reduced from an average of $100/bl in 2022 to about $85/bl currently, they are still elevated compared to the prices during the pre-pandemic period.

Mr Ratheb also disclosed that the volumes available were 10% lower, stemming from quota losses in the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) and a decrease of 5% in the total allowable catch (TAC).

The Group’s South Africa Fishing segment makes up 68% of its operating profit and it reaffirmed that despite it being a tough year for the segment, the group remains confident in its future sustainability.

The segment is reported to have generated a 3% increase in revenue to R2.7 billion (US$145M) driven by steady demand as well as price increases both locally and internationally.

Mr Ratheb revealed that he is particularly pleased with the performance of the aquaculture division as it showed vast improvement by reducing its operating loss by 37% to R40 million (US$2.1M), compared to the R64 million (US$3.44M) operating loss reported in 2021.

The aquaculture segment was severely impacted by the effects of COVID-19 on global markets as the company is mainly an export-oriented business and this growth, no matter how minute, is considered a good performance.

The group also recently acquired MG Kailis for R770 million (US$41.4M) which has had a significant contribution to its 2022 financial performance.

Sea Harvest’s Cape Harvest Foods segment on the other hand, which comprises five processing operations and 12 factory shops, reported a 126% increase in operating profit to R118 million (US$6.35M).

The CEO expressed that he is also pleased with this segment’s value-added dairy business performance and that the investments towards its milk powder and butter operations are finally paying off.

On the international level, Sea Harvest’s Australian segment increased its operating profit from R31 million (US$1.67M) in the prior year to R45 million (US$2.4M) in 2022.

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