Sanford, New Zealand's largest listed seafood company, reported an 8 percent gain in full-year profit although the increase reflected a year-earlier impairment tied to a discontinued business and underlying earnings were relatively flat.
Profit was $37.5 million in the year ended Sept. 30, from $34.7 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.1 percent to $477.9 million, which Sanford attributed to improved prices from its king salmon farming business and higher catch volumes in its fishing business.
Profit from continuing operations fell to $37.5 million from $37.8 million a year earlier, while adjusted earnings before interest and tax were about $300,000 higher at $63.7 million. The year-earlier net profit included a $3.1 million loss from a discontinued operation after the company took a further $5 million impairment against San Nikunau, its remaining International Purse Seine (IPS) vessel, which was sold in May 2016 for $3.9 million.
Sanford kept its 2017 dividends unchanged at 23 cents with a final payment of 14 cents payable on Dec. 8 announced today. That decision reflected the company's heavy investment needs "as we continue the transition journey from a commodity fishing company to a value-focused domestic and global seafood supplier," it said. Those investments delayed the company reaching its debt/ebitda ratio target, it said.
Sanford shares hit a record $8.10 last week and slipped 0.4 percent today to $7.97. The stock had gained 18 percent this year.
In September, Amalgamated Dairies, an investment vehicle for the Goodfellow family, said it had raised about $21 million reducing its holding in Sanford to 24 percent from 27 percent.
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