Thai Union’s profit hits all-time high in Q3; Red Lobster losses reduced

Published on
November 5, 2020

Seafood giant Thai Union reported record quarterly profit in the third quarter of this year thanks to strong performance in its key business fronts and a reduction in losses of Red Lobster affiliate, the company said in its Q3 results report released 4 November.

Its net income in the quarter soared 49.7 percent year-on-year to THB 2.06 billion (USD 66.2 million, EUR 56.6 million), which Thai Union said is its highest quarterly profit level.

The company also earned a record-high quarter gross profit of THB 6.33 billion (USD 203.5 million, EUR 174 million) in the third quarter, up 24.6 percent year-on-year. It also had the highest quarterly gross profit margin during July-September with 18.2 percent, rising 15.9 percent from a year ago, due to “the increase in sales mix of the higher-margined branded ambient business”.

Thai Union’s ambient seafood category, including tuna, sardine, salmon, mackerel, and herring, mainly refers to shelf-stable items that are largely sold through retail channels and sometimes wholesalers. 

Apart from the impressive growth in most business segments, Thai Union attributed the high quarter profit to rising share of income from investment in associates. Its share of gains in the quarter was THB 258 million (USD 8.3 million, EUR 7.1 million), up 28.4 percent year-on-year, due to lower losses in Red Lobster.

“Red Lobster has reported less losses quarter-on-quarter as the company implements stringent cost-saving initiatives, focuses on off-premise sales and opened much of its restaurants for dine-in, resulting in less losses quarter-on-quarter,” Thai Union said.

Meanwhile, the Thai company maintained its strong sales activities in the quarter with revenue surging 9.3 percent year-on-year to THB 34.78 billion (USD 1.11 billion, EUR 955.9 million). The increase in sales was led by the sales growth of 12.4 percent of the ambient seafood business to serve higher home-cooking demand. Sales of the frozen and chilled segments also recovered in the period due to resumption of operation at many food-service operators after lockdowns were lifted in various cities.

However, its domestic sales in Thailand narrowed to 10 percent of total sales due to disruptions in tourism activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s average price of skipjack tuna over July-September period increased 23.3 percent year-on-year to USD 1,500 (EUR 1,282) per metric tons (MT). The prices of whiteleg shrimp in the quarter also rose by 1.9 percent year-on-year to THB 145 (USD 4.7, EUR 4) per kilogram.

In the first nine months, Thai Union’s sales climbed 5.9 percent year-on-year to THB 98.94 billion (USD 3.2 billion, EUR 2.7 billion) while its net profit jumped 74 percent from a year earlier to THB 4.79 billion (USD 154 million, EUR 131.6 million).

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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