New England Seafood profits decline amid tough market conditions

Published on
July 28, 2020

Chessington, Surrey, United Kingdom-based seafood importer, processor, and distributor New England Seafood International Ltd. (NESI) posted slightly lower profits last year, in a business environment that became steadily more challenging.

The company posted an operating profit before exceptional items and amortization of just over GBP 5 million (USD 6.4 million, EUR 5.5 million) for the year ended 31 October, 2019, down from almost GBP 5.7 million (USD 7.3 million, EUR 6.3 million) in the previous 12 months.

According to its recently published group strategic report, NESI’s profit for the financial year was less than GBP 1.3 million (USD 1.7 million, EUR 1.4 million), falling from around GBP 2.5 million (USD 3.2 million, EUR 2.7 million) in 2018. At the same time, its total turnover increased from GBP 154.9 million (USD 199.3 million, EUR 170.1 million) to GBP 161.1 million (USD 207.3 million, EUR 176.9 million)

The company said that it was pleased with the performance for the year given the challenging trading conditions on the U.K. high street, particularly in the first quarter, which saw lower promotional volumes as its customers reacted to a tightening of consumer spending.

“Thereafter, we built back in a steady recovery as we managed our mix and worked hard at successfully improving efficiencies and our ways of working. Consequently, we built earnings over each consecutive quarter,” the report said.

NESI highlighted that “great progress” was made on developing its factory and team in Grimsby, with the launch of a full whitefish range for retailer Asda in January 2019, and a launch with the Co-op Group in May.

“These customers recognize the significance of the fish buying consumer to build their businesses. This reinforces our strategic positioning in the market and our view that the U.K. consumer wants to buy quality white fish presented in stimulating and appetizing ways.”

The company also exited the foodservice business that was operated from the Grimsby plant. This mainly serviced fish and chip shops and independent foodservice outlets. It was sold to Jaines and Sons (Grimsby) Ltd.

Meanwhile, its facility in Chessington continues to develop products for both the retail and foodservice sectors.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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