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Aotearoa Fisheries posts $16m profit

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Iwi-owned fishing company Aotearoa Fisheries Limited has reported a net profit after tax of $16 million for the year ended 30 September 2015.

In making the announcement, the chairman of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, Mr Whaimutu Dewes, and chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Mr Peter Douglas, said Aotearoa Fisheries business divisions have performed well during the year and delivered a good result despite a difficult operating environment for Sealord Group Limited.

"Our profit is comprised of two main areas and is like a game of two halves," Aotearoa Fisheries Chairman Whaimutu Dewes says. "Although the Sealord profit was down, after a good year last year, we were pleased to see our own business divisions performing well."

Aotearoa Fisheries has announced a dividend to iwi shareholders totalling $6.4 million for the year. Since 2010 the company has paid $38.6 million cash to iwi in dividends.

Aotearoa Fisheries CEO Carl Carrington says the performance of the group in all was pleasing in the face of foreign currency headwinds. "The investment over the last few years in infrastructure and expansion into new markets is having positive impacts on our financial performance."

Mr Peter Douglas added: "As the controlling shareholder, Te Ohu Kaimoana is pleased that Aotearoa Fisheries has performed well. The company is fundamentally in a sound position as the 58 iwi organisations ready themselves to take direct ownership of the company."

"While we think the medium-term future for seafood is positive, we are dealing with natural systems with all the variations that go with that. We also work in high-value markets that are susceptible to global and local conditions. That means there will be fluctuations in any one year. The benefit of being part of a large group is that a falloff in one part of the company can be balanced by upturns in another," Mr Douglas said.

Sealord Group Limited CEO Steve Yung said: "It has been a challenging year with a poor crop of mussels, softening global white fish pricing in the last quarter and vessel breakdowns, leading to a below expectation profit.

Our fishing capacity was restricted due to vessels being off the water, which reduced both sales and profitability. We have now completed the sale of our mussel business."

Aotearoa Fisheries Limited manages commercial seafood assets that include a 50 percent ownership of Sealord Group Limited. The company wholly owns Moana Pacific Fisheries, OPC Fish and Lobster, Prepared Foods Limited, Pacific Marine Farms and Kia Ora Seafoods.

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