FISHING: I&J Reels In A Bigger Catch
Recent Western Cape Business News
FISHING group I&J – which is controlled by consumer brands conglomerate AVI - finally came good with a 22% increase in operating profits to R91 million in the year to end June.
While revenue dipped 0.9% to R1.37 billion efforts by management to run a tighter ship paid off with the operating margin showing an encouraging increase to 6.6% (from 5.4% in 2010).
The performance is commendable considering the stronger rand caused a material decline in export revenue (although this was largely offset by an improved sales mix and firmer prices).
Domestic market prices for fish were also constrained by competitor activity. Speaking at an investment presentation, AVI CEO Simon Crutchley said there was a lot of pressure domestically and competition in both retail and food service markets.
But he noted that I&J was showing good innovation locally. “We are working hard to gain market share again in food services.”
AVI CFO Owen Cressey said I&J – which saw an increase in its total allowable catch (TAC) - enjoyed very good catch rates.
“Throughout the year processing efficiencies were good…I&J brought more costs savings to the table.”
Crutchley was also hopeful of further increases in the TAC this year. “We’ve had three years of improving TAC…we are expecting it to increase again. We’re not entirely sure by how much, but that certainly will give us leverage in this business.”
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