Why Oceana's profit is in the doldrums
The fishing group warns shareholders that basic earnings could drop between 35% and 50% a share
Fishing group Oceana’s share price plunged more than 10% on Friday following a weak trading statement covering the year to end-September.
Oceana’s shares finished at R84, close to a 12-month low and well off the R124.99 record high in December 2016.
Oceana — best known for its Lucky Star canned pilchard brand as well as its Daybrook fish meal and fish oil operation in Louisiana — warned shareholders that basic earnings could drop between 35% and 50% to between 511c/share and 393c/share.
Basic headline earnings would decrease by the same range to between 457c/share and 352c/share.
Oceana said the decrease stemmed mainly from softer global markets for fishmeal and fish oil as well as losses incurred on foreign exchange contracts held to cover the import of frozen fish.
It also cited the effect of a stronger rand on foreign earnings — an 8% appreciation during the trading period — and lower canned fish sales volumes from slow consumer demand.
At the interim stage to end-March, which is traditionally the slower trading period, Oceana notched up headline earnings of about 194c/share.
The performance of Oceana contrasts with the steadier performance from recently listed hake fishing company Sea Harvest, which reported encouraging profit growth in the half-year to end-June.