Sea Harvest, best known for its frozen seafood, seems to be morphing into a general foods business. Visits to the recently acquired Viking Fishing and Ladismith Cheese sites highlighted cost-conscious, efficient management, businesses on the brink of expansion opportunities that will aid Sea Harvest’s earnings. With further acquisitions, the group could be repositioned as a mid-cap BEE-owned food counter. Sea Harvest listed in April 2017 at R12.50 a share, raising R1.3bn. Since the listing, funds were used to acquire Viking Fishing, alongside a 51% stake in Viking aquaculture, for R885m in June 2017. In August 2018 Sea Harvest paid R573m for Ladismith Cheese, an unexpected shift away from its fishing heartland. It is also acquiring the minority interest in its Australian fishing division, Mareterram, for R163m. Revenue for 2018 financial rose 21% to R2.5bn with a rise of 16% in operating profit to R389m. Given the higher number of shares in issue, headline earnings rose 4% to 112c a...

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