Strong demand across the board for fish species has produced improved net profits for listed fisheries company Sanford in its interim results for the six months ended March 31.
Net profit after tax has risen from $6.1 million in 2022 to $11.1m this year and adjusted earnings before tax rose 38.7% to $26.6m.
Revenue was up 2.5% to $277m and Sanford reported that its salmon division had a particularly strong 45% lift in profitability.
Sanford chief executive Peter Reidie said the company was heavily impacted by covid-19 but a strong recovery is now under way.
“We have seen very encouraging growth in global sales. There is strong demand across the board. This ranges from our highly valued scampi and salmon to more everyday products such as hoki and squid. We have seen record pricing in the period for all these species and more.”
Along with the interim results, Sanford announced an agreement with Moana New Zealand to sell North Island inshore catch rights and some plant.
The sale is for the Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) for most inshore fish species for 10 years, although Sanford retains ownership of the quota.
The value of the ACE starts at just under $11m in the first year and increases to $13m by the fifth year.
As part of the deal, Sanford will sell Moana two of its inshore fishing vessels and a selection of its processing equipment and refrigerated vehicles.
One marine farm comprised of three coastal permits in the Croisilles Harbour in Marlborough is also included in the deal.
The price paid by Moana for these ancillary assets is expected to between $5m and $8m depending on independent valuation.
Sanford refers to itself as the oldest and largest seafood company and Moana is the largest Māori-owned fisheries company, incorporating Aotearoa Fisheries and half of Sealord.
An interim dividend of 6c was announced, following 10c last financial year and a two-year hiatus of dividend because of covid. The share price is stable in the band $4 to $4.20.