THE big New Zealand fishing and seafood processing company Sealord, which last week announced jobs may have to go at one of its plants, has now reported a 60 per cent fall in profits.
The company has blamed a global drop in fish prices as the main reason for the reverse in fortunes. This has also led to cheap foreign imports being sold into some of its markets.
There were other factors, such as foreign exchange fluctuations and a write down in the value of a mussels company and marine farm licences.
Sealord, part owned by New Zealand’s ethnic Iwi or Maori population and part owned by the Japanese seafood company Nissui, is the country’s second largest fishing company.
It has processing interests overseas, including in Britain, which produces near Grimsby for the Waitrose supermarket chain.
The net profit to the year ended September 30, fell from NZ $26.9 million to $10.1 million. Sales were down by 4.3 per cent to $431 million.
Sealord said it had been a challenging year in a number of respects. The mussel crop had been poor and the price of white fish had dropped, which had impacted on profits.
Chief executive Steve Yung said: ‘Our fishing capacity was restricted due to vessels being off the water during our peak season, which reduced both sales and profitability.’