High Liner's 3Q sales stumble

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 15, 2009

 High Liner Foods on Thursday reported third-quarter sales of CAD 143.7 million (USD 136.8 million, EUR 91.9 million), down 3.8 percent from the same period last year.

The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, seafood supplier also posted a third-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of CAD 10.4 million (USD 9.9 million, EUR 6.7 million), down 4.5 percent from the third quarter of 2008.

The company's third-quarter net income totaled CAD 5.1 million (USD 4.9 million, EUR 3.3 million), down 5.8 percent from last year.

"I am pleased with our performance, which was pretty well on par with our strongest quarter last year, pre-recession," said High Liner President and CEO Henry Demone.

"Our sales volume was lower, though not surprising given our price increases earlier in the year and the weakened economy," explained Demone. "The current recession did not affect High Liner in 2008 until after the third quarter. During the third quarter of this year, temporary supply constraints on tilapia and lower sales of higher priced crab and lobster also reduced sales. Overall, our performance has been strong during what has been a difficult period for the economy."

Though they fell in the third quarter, which ended on 3 October, High Liner's sales and net income increased 9.1 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in the first three quarters of this year.

"We remain focused on leveraging our market-leading brands and our strengths in procurement, logistics and product innovation to continue to grow our business," said Demone. "While it's all the more important that we carry on managing our business efficiently during these challenging economic times, we also believe it's important to re-invest in our business for the long-term. Our capital spending in the fourth quarter will be up significantly as a result of our decision last quarter to modernize one of our processing lines at our Portsmouth [N.H.] facility. This investment will help us manage our costs while increasing throughput.

"Recently, we have seen lower raw material costs and a strengthening in the Canadian dollar, both of which benefit our business," added Demone. "Price decreases on commodity products along with greater promotional activity on value-added products should drive volume growth going forward."

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