Premier casts its nets for deals


Premier casts its nets for deals

Published Date: 2017-10-25 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Premier casts its nets for deals

The fisheries business says it is looking for complementary deals

Premier Fishing Brands says the R526.5 million in capital it raised in March's listing on the JSE has placed it in a strong financial position to grow organically and through acquisitions. It's currently expanding its abalone farm, scheduled for completion in its 2019/2020 financial year, which will increase its production capacity to more than 300 tons of cultivated abalone. The group is also looking for deals in the fishing industry to improve and diversify its business.

In its maiden annual results, Premier has grown revenue by 2% to R411 million, but a rise in operating expenses left operating profit flat at R65 million. Net profit rose 31% to R68 million thanks to a sharp rise in investment revenue, while headline earnings per share fell 6% to 34.59c after it issued new shares on listing. It's declared a maiden dividend of 15c per share.

The fishing group says most of its operating units performed well over the year, with the exception of the pelagic division due to lower than expected catches of pilchards across the industry. Although abalone sales volumes were lower than last year, Premier says it strategically decided to grow out the larger sizes for customers for the new financial year. It says there is strong international demand for abalone.

Subsequent to its year-end, Premier has agreed to buy 50.01% of Talhado Fishing Enterprises, the largest squid player in the South African market. The deal takes effect from the end of November.

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