Premier Fishing and Brands chief executive Rushaan Isaacs. Photo: Supplied
Premier Fishing and Brands chief executive Rushaan Isaacs. Photo: Supplied

Premier Fishing and Brands reports solid results from robust demand for fish products

By Edward West Time of article published Nov 29, 2021

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PREMIER Fishing and Brands lifted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation a sturdy 22 percent to R43 million in the year to August 31 after revenue continued to be boosted by strong demand for its fish products.

Revenue increased sharply by 27 percent to R575m, while gross profit was up 26 percent to R192m. Diluted headline earnings per share decreased to a loss of 3.39 cents from 2.5c previously. Net asset value per share came to 292.53c compared with 296.23c in the prior year.

Cash generated from operations increased sharply to R53m compared with R35m in the prior year.

In her second year at the helm, chief executive Rushaan Isaacs said the solid performance was due primarily to increases in revenue from the squid sector, lobster sector, hake sector and the pelagic sector. “The demand for the groups’ products has remained strong, given the adverse effects of Covid-19, which is still present globally. The squid sector has enjoyed a massive turnaround from the prior period, due to the availability of the resource.”

Operationally, the group had a “very strong fishing season, where catches improved in every sector”. With catch rates being so strong, the group was able to capitalise on strong customer relationships in the export market.

The abalone sector remained a challenge due to the adverse effects of the pandemic on Asian markets, although the group remained positive these markets would continue to open up slowly.

Some once-off abnormal legal, consulting and administration costs were incurred in preparation for the Fishing Rights Application Process (Frap), as well as bad debts and impairments that arose from the tough trading conditions, which impacted on group operating margins and put headline earnings per share under pressure. “Had it not been for these once off and abnormal costs, the profitability and the earnings per share figures would be much stronger,” the group said on Friday.

No dividend was declared to preserve cash due to Covid-19 related uncertainty still being felt in the markets that the group operates in.

“I must thank the dedication of our stakeholders in working to achieve an excellent set of results given the prevailing circumstances. Against the backdrop of our ‘Sustainability First’ strategy, Premier has performed well and maintains its remit to deliver long-term value – not just for shareholders, but also in terms of building capacity for the future.”

She said Premier was in the midst of the largest Frap process since 2005.

“The overriding imperative for us throughout this process, though, is job security for our people,” she said.

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