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Sanford annual profit to miss forecast on lower skipjack tuna, toothfish and mussel harvest

Friday 9th August 2013

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Sanford, New Zealand's largest listed fishing company, said annual profit will fall short of its forecast after lower catches of skipjack tuna and toothfish and slow growth in its main Marlborough mussel growing area. The shares fell.

Profit will probably be $23 million to $25 million in the year ending Sept. 30, from $21 million last year, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. That's less than Sanford forecast in May when it said second half profit would probably match the $14 million posted in the first half.

Sanford profits are being crimped as it faces high costs of operating its vessels while its catches fail to meet expectations in the Pacific skipjack tuna fishery and for toothfish in the remote South Georgia fishing zone. Slower growth in Marlborough mussels means those that are able to be harvested are generally smaller, resulting in lower revenue per kilogram and increased production costs.

Shares in Sanford fell 1.7 percent to $4.60, reducing its gain this year to 9.4 percent.

Still, catching of quota species in New Zealand is likely to meet expectations and demand for the company's retail packed products is increasing, Sanford said.

Increased domestic sales of Stewart Island farmed salmon is reducing reliance on Asian commodity markets while markets for most species are strong with firm prices, the company said.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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