Sea Harvest reports higher revenue but lower profit in FY 2023

Difficult fishing conditions, load shedding, and lower prawn prices also dragged on performance
Sea Harvest fishing vessel Lindiwe
Sea Harvest fishing vessel Lindiwe | Photo courtesy of Sea Harvest Group
4 Min

Sea Harvest Group reported higher revenue and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in FY 2023, but lower operating profits as high costs hit the company’s bottom line. 

The Cape Town, South Africa-based seafood company reported a 6 percent increase in revenue to ZAR 6.2 billion (USD 331.5 million, EUR 302.8 million) for the financial year ending 31 December 2023, up from ZAR 5.87 billion (USD 313.9 million, EUR 286.7 million) in FY 2022. The company’s EBIT also increased, rising 15 percent to ZAR 577 million (USD 30.8 million, EUR 28.2 million), up from ZAR 500 million (USD 26.7 million, EUR 24.4 million).

Sea Harvest's gross profit increased to ZAR 1.5 billion (USD 80 million, EUR 73 million), up 13 percent from the ZAR 1.3 billion (USD 69 million, EUR 63 million) the company posted last year.

However, its operating profit fell 2 percent to ZAR 462 million (USD 24 million, EUR 22 million), and its profit after tax fell 8 percent to ZAR 269 million (USD 14 million, EUR 13.1 million). 

The company said it benefited from high demand for its goods across all markets and a weaker South African rand, but costs held back its profits. 

“Performance … was constrained by lower volumes as a result of difficult fishing conditions, above-average inflation cost increases, load shedding, and significantly lower global prawn prices,” the company said. “The primary driver of softer earnings was a further 47 percent increase in average interest rates.”

Despite the lower profits, Sea Harvest Group CEO Felix Ratheb said the outcome was “pleasing” in the face of the challenges.

“Despite significantly lower volumes because of lower landings of hake and less availability of milk, revenue was up,” Ratheb said. “This was driven by strong price increases, compounded internationally by a weaker rand to the euro and Australian dollar.”

The company reported its South African fishing arm increased its revenue by 10 percent to ZAR 3.03 billion (USD 162 million, EUR 148 million), due to firm demand despite lower harvests caused by difficult fishing conditions. The company said it had an 8 percent lower hake catch rate per sea day and 7 percent lower sales volumes. 

Despite the challenges, the sector saw its gross profit increase 29 percent to ZAR 924 million (USD 49 million, EUR 45 million), with a 31 percent gross profit margin.

Sea Harvest said it has completed an appeal of its deep-sea trawl-caught hake allocation under the country's recently completed Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP), achieving an improvement so that its total will be just slightly lower than its previous allocation.

“The result gives the group certainty for the next 15 years,” the company said.

Sea Harvest's aquaculture arm saw its revenue increase by ... 

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