King Salmon posts 52% gain in first-half profit, affirms full-year forecast

King Salmon said Ng Fung director Wang Xin had been appointed to its board.

New Zealand King Salmon, which listed last October after raising $70 million selling shares, posted a 52 percent gain in first-half profit and said it was on track to meet its prospectus target for the full year.

Net profit rose to $8.7 million, or 7c a share, in the six months ended December 31, from $5.7 million, or 5c, a year earlier, the Nelson-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $63.6 million from $56.6 million.

The company, which is 40 percent owned by Malaysia's Oregon Group, sold 3400 tonnes of gilded and gutted salmon in the first half, up 13 percent from a year earlier, while export volumes climbed 19 percent. King Salmon's fortunes partly rest on the outcome of a proposal to relocate up to six of its salmon farms within the Marlborough Sounds to ensure they continue to meet environmental standards, a process the government announced in January was being put out for consultation.

"The first four months since listing have given us a good platform for future growth," chairman John Ryder said. "We are positive about the future of the company and its global potential, and we are on track with our investment in new farm capacity and operational upgrades to support this strategy."

Of the $70 million raised in the initial public offering, $30 million was new capital to repay debt and fund investments while the remainder went to existing shareholders who sold down their holdings, including Oregon and Direct Capital. The IPO attracted new shareholders including food investor China Resources Ng Fung, which acquired about 10 percent of the company. Today King Salmon said Ng Fung director Wang Xin had been appointed to its board.

King Salmon is projecting revenue of $130.1 million in the year ending June 30, 2017, for a profit of $10 million, compared to a $2.6 million profit on sales of $114.1 million in 2016.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 2c a share on March 24, which it said was in line with its prospectus forecast.

The shares last traded at $1.36 and have gained 24 percent since listing.