SOUTH AFRICA – Premier Fishing and Brands, a leading South African fishing company, reported a 72% increase in operating profit in the six months to February 28, 2019 despite tough economic conditions across major markets.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed firm said that the business benefited greatly from strong performance of its sales in United States and European market.
Premier reported an interim revenue increase of 55% to US$20.55 million (R287m) while its gross profit climbed up 72% to US$9.31 million (R130m) during the period under review.
Samir Saban, Premier’s chief executive said in a statement that he was pleased with the performance and the progress Premier had made against its strategy.
“Since listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2017, we have faced tough trading and environmental conditions, but despite this, Premier achieved positive results,” he said.
Saban said that the group is confident of a better performance in the future adding that the firm is well positioned to grow organically and pursue further acquisitions -thereby ensuring delivery on our stakeholder commitments.
Premier holds medium- to long-term fishing rights in squid, lobster, small pelagics, hake deep-sea trawl, hake longline, horse mackerel, swordfish and tuna exported to the US, China, Europe and the Far East.
The group said that the squid division delivered good catch rates while the rock lobster division remained a challenge for the entire fishing industry.
Khalid Abdulla, chief executive of majority shareholder African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), said the major strategic growth focus is on the Fishing Rights Application Process 2020, completion of the abalone farm expansion and pursuing strategic acquisitions in the industry.
As part of its expansion strategy, Premier has also been engaging in talks for securing an offshore acquisition soon that could be based in the US while Saban said that the group might also consider acquisitions outside of the seafood sector.
In May 2018, the group acquired a 50.3% stake in Talhado Fishing Group, the biggest squid company in the South African fishing sector for US$6.09 million (R85m) which contributed positively to the operating profits in the period under review.
The fishing giant harvests, processes and sells marine products, and owns and manages its own factories, abalone farm, facilities and fishing vessels that operate from three provinces.