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Moana fattens profit on reduced revenue

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/06/2017 Paul McBeth

Moana New Zealand has boosted first-half profit 28 per cent, even as revenue shrank by about a quarter as the iwi-owned fishing group reaped gains from its half-stake in Sealord Group and its lobster joint venture with Port Nicholson Fisheries.

Net profit rose to $9.9 million in the six months ended March 31 from $7.7m a year earlier, it said on Tuesday.

Revenue dropped 23 per cent to $76.7m, however the bottom line was bolstered by a fattening of gross margin to 27.4 per cent from 24.3 per cent a year earlier, and as its share of Sealord profit more than doubled to $2.2m and the lobster joint venture came on stream adding $2.2m to Moana's earnings.

Moana changed its name from Aotearoa Fisheries last year in a rebranding initiative to present itself as a premium seafood group rather than a fish processor.

The company is ultimately owned by iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana and alongside its Sealord stake and lobster joint venture, operates in fin fish, wild abalone, blue abalone, oysters and ready-to-eat meals.

Chief executive Carl Carrington says Pacific oysters have been a strong performer for the group in the first half with record volumes sold, while ready-to-eat meals beat projections.

The lobster joint venture was expected to operate below expectations in the second half of the year as increased supply had depressed prices since February.

Sealord met forecast in the period as a larger harvest of lower value species offset a reduced margin, and Carrington said he expected the fishing group's full-year result will be in line with the $22.9m reported in the 2016 financial year. Sealord, which Moana co-owns with Japan's Nippon Suisan Kaisha, typically reaps two-thirds of annual profit in the final quarter of the year and is dependent on a favourable hoki season.

Moana valued its Sealord stake at $183.2m as at March 31, up from $171.8m a year earlier.

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