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Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Cape Town-based Premier Fishing & Brands (PFB), which along with other companies linked to Sekunjalo has been ditched by numerous banks over reputational risk, says it has sufficient cash resources to meet operational requirements.

The company’s share price fell 3.23% to 60c on Tuesday, the most since late March, after the release of the group’s earnings for the six months ended February 28.

In February, Nedbank joined a growing list of financial institutions that have severed ties with any company connected to the Sekunjalo Group, citing concern over the bank’s reputation should it remain associated with the entities.

PFB is a part of the lqbal Survé-controlled African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) stable, the parent company of Ayo Technology Solutions.  

The fishing giant reassured investors it was not aware of any new material changes, except for the Covid-19 pandemic that may economically affect the group.

“The board of directors believes that the group still has adequate ... resources to continue in operation for the foreseeable future,” the company said in a statement, adding it was in “a sound financial position”.

Other banks that have ditched Sekunjalo-affiliated companies in recent months are Absa and FirstRand’s FNB. Companies such as the corporate governance advisory unit of PSG, auditing house BDO and Sasol have also cut ties.

PFB reported a 38% decline in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) to R25m from R40m, while profit before tax fell 38% to R13m from R21m for the period.

The company attributed some of its setbacks to a decline in volumes and overall squid catch compared with a year earlier. It said the availability of squid had become an industrywide challenge. Still, export demand has remained strong with selling prices per kilogram improving and the number of overall customers growing.

Catch rates for the lobster sector were positive and it expects the pelagic catches to pick up in the second half of the year, it said, while abalone demand had improved after the effects of the Covid-19 on the Asian export market.

PFB operates in fishing grounds stretching from Lambert’s Bay in the Western Cape to Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, while its aquaculture operation is based in the Overberg region of the Western Cape.

gumedemi@businesslive.co.za

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