Sanford Limited: Interim Result for six months ended 31 March 2010
Markets for most species continued to be difficult and slower than expected to return to normal levels, and with the continued high exchange rate, net returns remained lower than acceptable for most species. As a result of these difficult market conditions inventory increased in the six months by $7m to $57m at 31 March 2010, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Sanford.
Costs were approximately $10m less resulting in the net reduction of $33m in EBITDA. The benefits of converting the larger deepwater fleet to light fuel oil has offset some of the effects of increased fuel prices. Other operating costs have been contained within expectations.
Aquaculture profitability was adversely affected by substantially lower market prices for Greenshell mussels as New Zealand producers dropped prices to maintain or increase market share. Profitability from salmon and oyster operations was also adversely affected by low net returns.
Skipjack tuna catches in the Pacific were 12% lower than the same period last year and coupled with lower prices and the higher exchange rates resulted in substantially reduced profitability from this sector.
The profitability of our 50% investment in Weihai Dong Won Food Company Limited (WDWF) operations in Weihai, China continues to improve as we are able to increase our contribution to the governance and management of this operation.
Markets and Pricing
The ongoing effects of the global financial crisis are still affecting pricing in certain species and markets. Markets in Southern European countries and the United Kingdom continued to be difficult and prices of species like ling and hake have been slow to recover. Markets in Northern and Eastern Europe continue to improve and as a result, some reduction of pelagic species stocks occurred in the six months.
During the period inventories of some species such as hoki block and salmon increased above normal levels but sales since the end of the period have cleared most of those inventories.