Oceana Group appoints new CFO

Published on
July 27, 2020

South Africa-based global fishing company Oceana Group has announced the appointment of Hajra Karrim as the new company chief financial officer and executive director, effective from 1 November, 2020.

Karrim will take over for Trevor Giles, who has been acting in that position since 11 February, 2020, when the former CFO Elton Bosch resigned for what the company said was his desire to “pursue other business interests.”

Karrim, a holder of BCom (Honours) and CA (SA) qualifications, has previously worked as the CFO of the Electronic Media Network Limited Group of Companies (M-Net) and TransUnion Africa Group, according to a statement by Oceana.

“The Audit Committee is satisfied with the expertise and experience of Ms Karrim to be appointed in this role and look forward to her contribution,” Oceana said.

However, Oceana, which engages in the catching, processing, marketing, and distribution of canned fish, fishmeal, fish oil, lobster, horse mackerel, squid, and hake, said Giles will continue in his current role “until 31 October, 2020, after which he will resume his role as Group Executive, Business Development.”

Karrim’s appointment comes amid a series of management changes at Oceana, with at least four major resignations since 2018, although the company has maintained a solid performance – especially for its key seafood operations in Africa.

Some of the notable resignations in the last two years include that of Francois Kuttel, who left in February 2018; and Geoffrey George Fortuin, who resigned as non-executive director in September 2019 due to what the company said was “an increase in other work commitments.”

Other resignations include that of Lawrence MacDougall and Noel Doyle as directors of Oceana's board, and Elton Bosch, who walked out in June 2019.

Nevertheless, Oceana has managed to lock out possible instability from the changes since early 2018, with the company posting 11 percent surge in Group revenue to ZAR 3.48 billion (USD 212 million, EUR 180 million) for the period ending March 2018.

Although the Group revenues growth decelerated to 3 percent and 2 percent for 2019 and 2020 respectively, the company’s total revenue increased to ZAR 3.557 billion (USD 216 million, EUR 183 million) and ZAR 3.627 billion (USD 220 million, EUR 187 million) during the two years.

Karrim is expected to strengthen the current management team in ensuring Oceana maintains its positive growth that has for the last three years been buttressed by what the company attributes to “increased sales especially of canned fish, stronger fishmeal and fish oil prices, good hakes and horse mackerel catch rates and prices, increased cold storage occupancy levels at the South African coastal stores and the favorable impact of the weaker Rand on export revenues.” 

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