Clearwater posts Q4, 2008 losses
Clearwater Seafoods of Bedford, Nova Scotia, today posted losses for its fiscal fourth quarter as well as for 2008, a year the company described as "challenging."
Fourth-quarter losses for the shellfish supplier totaled CDN 81. 7 million (USD 65.8 million, EUR 49.6 million), on CDN 84.3 million (USD 67.9 million, EUR 51.2 million) in sales, while year-end losses reached CDN 102.4 (USD 82.5 million; EUR 62.1 million) on CDN 292.2 million (USD 235.5 million; EUR 177.3 million) in sales.
However, the company's fishing fleet - including the launch of a new clam vessel - is fully operational and will require no material capital expenditures for the next three to five years. Clearwater's lobster business last year benefited from lower procurement costs and from declining fuel costs. The company is completing the conversion of a smaller non-factory lobster vessel that it expects to be operational in 2009.
After a difficult year marked by fluctuating currency exchange rates often unfavorable for Canadian exporters, the company said it expects to successfully refinance its near-term debt and foreign exchange lines.
Plans to privatize the business last year failed, as well as a capital tie-up deal with Japanese conglomerate Maruha-Nichiro Holdings. The company was also hampered by the partial nationalization of Icelandic bank Glitnir due to the global credit crisis.