Moana NZ posts 22% gain in full-year profit on increased Sealord return

Moana chief executive Carl Carrington

Moana New Zealand, the rebranded Aotearoa Fisheries that holds a half stake in Sealord Group, posted a 22% gain in full-year profit allowing the company to increase its dividend for its iwi owners.

Profit rose to $19.4 million in the year ended September 30 from $16 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said. Revenue was about $170 million. It will pay a dividend of $8.2 million, from $6.4 million a year earlier. In its interim report, Moana had said it was on track to deliver a full-year consolidated profit of $20 million.

The company changed its trading name to Moana from Aotearoa Fisheries in July after hiring brand specialists Designworks. The new look was aimed at repositioning the business by dropping the reference to fisheries, on the basis that it wants to convey a message about premium seafood from New Zealand's clean waters rather than fish processing. Moana is owned by Aotearoa Fisheries, whose shares, in turn, are held by iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana, according to the Companies Office.

Moana's profit was boosted by the improved performance from Sealord, which contributed $11.5 million to profit. That amounted to 59% of total earnings from 37% a year earlier.

As well as the investment in Sealord, it has five product groups – blue abalone, fin fish, lobster, Pacific oysters and wild abalone.

"All of our business divisions, with one exception, have performed well this year and profits are pleasing despite external challenges," chief executive Carl Carrington said in the statement. Blue abalone performed below plan, which reflected "adverse growing conditions attributable to extremely high water temperatures experienced across the summer months."


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