High Liner Foods reports lower earnings

Nova Scotia-based High Liner Foods reported decreased sales in the first quarter of 2016 due to a weaker Canadian dollar and lower demand for its breaded and battered frozen seafood products, according to its latest earnings report, released Wednesday, 11 May.

The value-added frozen seafood company reported its first quarter sales dropped by USD 19.7 million (EUR 17.2 million), or 6.4 percent, to USD 290.5 million (EUR 254.3 million), down from USD 310.2 million (EUR 271.5 million) of sales in the first quarter of 2015. Its quarterly sales volume decreased by 1.5 percent from 89.5 million pounds in Q1 2015 to 88.2 million pounds in Q1 2016, and its EBITDA decreased by USD 1.3 million, or 4.2 percent, to USD 29.4 million (EUR 25.7 million), compared to USD 30.7 million (EUR 26.9 million) in Q1 2015.

Even with the disappointing numbers, High Liner President and CEO Keith Decker remained positive in his comments on his company’s Q1 results.

"In the first quarter of 2016, sales volume trends improved from those experienced throughout 2015 and strong free cash flow from operations, including from improved inventory management, allowed us to pay down debt and improve our debt leverage," Decker said. "As expected, we benefited in the first quarter from lower raw material prices and incremental supply chain optimization savings.”

The weaker value of the Canadian dollar against the American dollar also hurt High Liner’s numbers, bringing down the company’s total revenues by USD 5.9 million (EUR 5.2 million) relative to the conversion impact in last year’s Q1.

"While we are encouraged with the progress made in the first quarter, there is still work we need to do in 2016 to improve performance going forward. We will continue to focus on improving earnings through stabilizing sales volume and managing costs,” Decker said. “Our raw material prices are expected to be relatively stable for the remainder of this year and completing outstanding supply chain optimization activities remains a priority, including the transfer of New Bedford's value-added fish production to our other facilities which is on track to be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year.”


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