Sea Harvest profit slows as it gears up to change the game
Recent acquisition of Viking Fishing expands net from hake to lobster, prawns, tuna, mussels and oysters
Fishing group Sea Harvest – which is controlled by empowerment company Brimstone – will see a temporary slowdown in its profit trawl as it absorbs the upfront cost of its recent acquisition of Viking Fishing.
In a trading update issued on Friday, Sea Harvest estimated headline earnings for the six months ended June would increase at best marginally to between R111m and R114m compared with the R111m recorded in the corresponding interim period.
Directors cited the recent Viking acquisition – which has been described as a “game changer” for Sea Harvest – as the main drag on earnings growth. Sea Harvest is heading an empowerment consortium in the R885m transaction.
Viking Fishing operates a fleet of 30 vessels from Cape Town, Hout Bay, Mossel Bay, Durban and Maputo to catch and process hake, horse mackerel, pilchards and anchovy as well as west coast rock lobster, prawns and tuna.
The Viking deal also gives the Sea Harvest consortium a 51% stake in Viking Aquaculture – which farms abalone, mussels, oysters and trouts in SA and Namibia. Sea Harvest’s SA operations revolve mainly around is hake fishing and frozen fish operations. Viking consolidates the group’s dominant position in the hake sector, but also markedly widens the catch net.