Oceana gets boost as under-pressure consumers turn to tinned fish

December 05, 2022

Strong demand for Oceana Group’s canned fish, driven by strong demand for affordable protein through its Lucky Star brand, and good catches in the US, saw the group report a strong operational third quarter.

Chief executive Neville Brink said yesterday’s trading update for the nine months to June 26 had confirmed indications of a second-half recovery that had been anticipated at the release of the interim results.

Canned fish sales volumes for the third quarter were 14.5 percent higher than in the comparative period, with a 50 percent increase in more profitable local production.

African fishmeal and fish-oil production volumes were 28 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2021. Sales volumes year to date were in line with the prior period, having recovered from the impact of lower opening inventory levels.

In the US, with all 12 vessels operating, third quarter Gulf menhaden landings were 83 percent higher than in the comparative period, with total landings for the nine months 62 percent up.

As a result, fishmeal and fish-oil inventory available for fourth-quarter shipment was 115 percent higher than it was going into the fourth quarter in the previous period. International dollar pricing for fishmeal and fish oil “is extremely strong”, he said.

High fuel and quota costs and poor South African catch rates in the third quarter had impacted hake and horse mackerel operations. Sales volumes for the nine months were 10 percent lower, mainly due to scheduled vessel maintenance. Horse mackerel demand in Africa remained strong and hake demand in Europe was improving.

“Continued demand for affordable, healthy protein, good pilchard catch rates and continued strong pricing in our fishmeal and fish oil businesses have delivered a strong operational third quarter,” said Brink.

The group, which had to deal with corporate governance failures among its directors earlier this year, and the resignation of its previous auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, said Mazars had been appointed as its external auditors, following a tender process.

Given the timing of the new appointment, the board expected to report provisional results for the year ending September 30, 2022 by no later than December 31.

Chairperson Mustaq Brey said Mazars’ appointment was an important step forward as it works to restore confidence in the group’s financial reporting.

“We look forward to a productive working relationship with Mazars as an independent-minded auditor,” he said.-iol

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Last modified on Monday, 05 December 2022 14:49

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