For the interim period to February 28, profit after tax increased 59percent from R18million to R29m, gross profit increased from R71m to R76m (7percent), operating profit increased from R18m to R20m (14percent), and a gross dividend of 15 cents per share was paid in February 2018.
Reflecting on the period under review, Samier Saban, the chief executive of Premier, said: “I am pleased with our interim results and the progress Premier has made against our strategy to date. Since listing the group on the JSE last year, we faced tough trading and environmental conditions, but, despite this, the company has achieved positive results.
“We also look forward to the latter half of the financial year where the bulk of our performance is achieved due to the seasonal nature of our business.”
He said the squid industry experienced exceptional catch rates during the period under review. The landed volumes (and sales volumes) for squid doubled when compared to the previous year.
Deputy chairperson Khalid Abdulla said: “As the global appetite for fish grows, and the need to protect overfishing and the replenishment of the marine population, aquaculture will remain a key element of Premier’s long-term strategy, complemented by further aligned acquisitions to diversify its product offering.”
Abdulla said Premier put sustainable fishing at the core of its business ethos. It complied with all industry laws and regulations in South Africa, and its fishing methods and standards were in line with global standards.
“As a black-owned and managed fishing business, Premier is committed to implementing the principles of transformation and broad-based black economic empowerment. It continues to place this high on the agenda to promote nation building in South Africa,” Abdulla said.
Premier announced earlier this week that it had concluded the acquisition of its controlling interest of 50.31percent in the Talhado Group, one of the largest squid operations in the South Africa. This strategic acquisition was made for its squid fishing rights, brand and processing facilities, as well as to enhance Premier’s footprint in the squid sector, to increase shareholder value.
Premier listed on the JSE in March 2017, raising R527m for its growth initiatives. The capital raised was used to invest in growing the asset base that included expanding the operations of the Abalone farm in Gansbaai.
“Thirty tons of additional animal rearing capacity has been added to date; construction is anticipated to be completed by the end of the first quarter next year. This will increase production capacity to 320 tons of cultivated abalone, making it one of the top three abalone farms in South Africa,” said Saban.
Premier Fishing and Brands’ prime fishing products include rock lobster (south and west coast) - exported to the US, China, Europe and the Far East - abalone (farmed and wild), octopus, squid, swordfish, pilchards, anchovy, hake, horse mackerel, general food products and environmentally friendly agri-biotechnology products such as Seagro fertiliser, a byproduct of fishmeal.
Premier employs up to 1500 people (including season workers) on the coastal regions of South Africa and contributes tremendously towards job creation for previously disadvantaged communities.