Price increases float Maruha Nichiro’s sales to record high in 2024 fiscal year

A Maruha Nichiro Ocean Blue brand cod product
Value-added seafood products carried Maruha Nichiro's sales higher in its most recent fiscal year | Photo courtesy of Maruha Nichi
6 Min

Japanese seafood giant Maruha Nichiro converted higher prices for its value-added products into record-high sales in its 2024 fiscal year, which ended 30 March 2024.

Maruha Nichiro’s net sales hit JPY 1.03 trillion (USD 6.6 billion, EUR 6.2 billion), up from JPY 1.02 trillion (USD 6.5 billion, EUR 6.1 billion) in its 2023 fiscal year, and its 2024 profit rose to JPY 20.9 billion (USD 134.5 million, EUR 125 million), up from JPY 18.6 billion (USD 119.7 million, EUR 111.3 million) in 2023.

However, the company’s operating income shrunk to JPY 26.4 billion (USD 169.8 million, EUR 128 million), down from JPY 29.6 billion (USD 190.4 million, EUR 177.1 million), and its EBITDA fell to JPY 46 billion (USD 296 million, EUR 275.2 million), down from JPY 47.4 billion (USD 305 million, EUR 283.5 million).

“Net sales increased due to strong sales and the effect of price revisions in the Foodstuff Distribution,” the company said in its fiscal year 2024 results statement. “Operating income declined, despite favorable performance in the Processed Foods Business and Foodstuff Distribution Business segments, as it could not cover the decline in operating income in the Marine Products Business segment.”

Sales in Maruha Nichiro’s Fishery segment dropped 8.8 percent year over year to JPY 38.5 billion (USD 247.7 million, EUR 230.3 million) due to a decrease in catch volume as a result of reduced fishing operations and higher fuel prices.

The company’s Aquaculture segment suffered a 0.9 percent drop in operating income due to higher feed costs and a drop in the market price for yellowtail, though it improved its net sales by 0.8 percent to JPY 16 billion (USD 102.9 million, EUR 95.7 million).

Its Marine Products Trading segment saw a 1.6 percent drop in operating income and a 3.8 percent drop in sales to JPY 298.1 billion (USD 1.9 billion, EUR 1.8 billion) due to sluggish sales of imported marine products, including frozen tuna and salmon.

Its Overseas segment suffered a 5.1 percent drop in operating income but a 3.5 percent increase in sales to JPY 238.5 billion (USD 1.5 billion, EUR 1.4 billion) as sales prices declined due to “continued sluggish Alaska pollock market prices and weak sales for pet food in North America,” the company said.

Maruha Nichiro’s Processed Food segment posted a 2.4 increase in operating profit due to “improved productivity and successful price revisions.” Its Foodstuff Distribution Business posted 3.7 percent growth due to price revisions and improved efficiency. 

Successful price revisions were made, and operational efficiency and productivity improved through changes in product specifications and SKU reduction,” the company said.

Maruha Nichiro said Dutch subsidiary Seafood Connection and its U.K. subsidiary Northcoast Seafoods posted steady performances. The company’s European sales rose 20 percent year over year to JPY 113.4 billion (USD 729.6 million, EUR 678.3 million), while its sales in Asia dropped 7 percent to JPY 51.1 billion (USD 328.8 million, EUR 305.7 million); North America sales declined 15 percent to JPY 53 billion (USD 341 million, EUR 317 million). Its total overseas sales, which accounted for 23.2 percent of its overall sales, improved to JPY 239.5 billion (USD 1.5 billion, EUR 1.4 billion), up from JPY 235.4 billion (USD 1.5 billion, EUR 1.4 billion) in 2023.

The company said it will seek to expand its sale of sushi items and Asian foods in Europe and will push for greater integration of production and sales in North America.

“Although the market for Alaska pollock continues to be soft, the market for fillets has bottomed out and is showing signs of a turnaround. By optimizing production items and integrating production and sales, efforts will be made to improve profitability,” Maruha Nichiro said.

Maruha Nichiro is forecasting a new record high for sales in fiscal year 2025 at ...

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