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Sanford profit rises 22pc


Wednesday 23rd October 2002

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Fishing company Sanford has seen its full year profit rise 22.7 percent

The company has posted a net after tax profit to August 31 of $37 million, well up from the previous year's $30.188 million.

A fully imputed final dividend of 12c per share was declared, the same as last year.

The company noted trading in the second half of the year was stronger than the first, with improved returns from aquaculture and international fishing activities.

Over the year Sanford's total revenue rose from $361.3 million to $394.9 million , although its ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) decreased slightly from $84.7m last year to $83.7m this year.

Depreciation increased from $14.2 million last year to $18 m illion, mainly on its pacific tuna vessels and increased aquaculture investments, and foreign exchange losses totalled $6.8 million.

At the same time, asset sales dropped off, netting $100,000 compared to $4.5 million in the previous year.

But net cash flows increased from $23 million to $59.9 million, due largely to improved profitability and a reduction in inventory.

Fixed asset additions, including new Auckland and Havelock processing plants, totalled $27.8 million and after dividend payouts and the repayment of some debt, the company holds $12.1 million for future investments or further debt reduction.

Sanford said some of the year's highlights included stronger demand and higher prices for orange roughy in the United States, making it the company's strongest market this year as international supplies grew scarce.

A new hoki fishing venture in Argentina began in May which allows Sanford to to complement its domestic hoki supplies.

As supplies of groundfish continued to drop off worldwide, Sanford said New Zealand's quota management regime protected the industry from some of the price fluctuations felt in other markets .

While profits from aquaculture activities improved over the last six months, there has been a decline in the price of greenshell mussels into the major United States market.

The company said that until recent world events occured, its outlook for this financial year looked more stable .

"Despite this, we believe that the coming year will see growth for the company with the recent expansions in aquaculture, pacific tuna and Argentina."

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