Premier, one of the largest black-owned and managed fishing operations in South Africa, saw group revenue increase by 20 percent from R411 million to R491m compared with the previous period, mainly as a result of increased sales volumes in the lobster and squid segments.
In its results for the year ending August 31, the group delivered a net profit of R95m, an increase of 40 percent compared with the previous year’s net profit of R68m, while cash generated from operations increased by 128 percent from R40m to R91m due to strong operational performance in the current period.
Premier, which declared a final gross dividend of 25 cents per share for the year ended August 31, 2018, an increase of 67 percent compared with 2017 (15c), is among the most transformed in terms of its management and employees and a division of African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI).
“The growth plans for the Premier Group are taking place as expected, and we are excited about the next growth phase of the company,” Premier’s chief executive, Samir Saban, said.
He said with the acquisition of Talhado Fishing for an effective 50.31 percent shareholding, Premier took on an additional 400 employees, increasing its headcount to close to 1 000 people.
Telhado, the largest squid company in South Africa with annual catches of 2500 tons, was acquired for a total purchase price of R105m in May.
He said the partnership with Talhado Fishing has worked very well, and it has been a smooth transition.
Giving an update on Premier’s Atlantic Abalone farm in Gansbaai, Saban said the expansion of the abalone farm is on track with 60percent of work done and the remainder set for completion next year.
“We will be employing an additional 200 people, so that will obviously take us to way over a thousand people who we will employ in the Overberg and in the Gansbaai area. I think the community is looking forward to it once that project is actually done. You know job creation gets an economy growing. It has multiple direct benefits as well,” said Saban.
Reflecting on last year, Saban said he is delighted at the positive results and looks forward to growing the business further, increasing business sustainability as well as increasing shareholder value.
“These financial year-end results were realised as an outcome of excellent performances across most of the group’s operating divisions which exceeded Premier’s expectations, by increasing its overall catch volumes, achieving better pricing, efficient cost and vessel management,” said Saban.
Khalid Abdulla, group chief executive of AEEI and deputy chairperson of Premier, said he was pleased with the results and congratulated the Premier team on their hard work and efforts, and especially their focus on sustainable growth.
Premier’s shares rose 4.11 percent to close at R3.80 on the JSE on Tuesday.