Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Sea Harvest’s share price rose 4% on Monday, on the expectation of improved performance in SA, driven by strong market demand for Cape hake globally and the performance of investments the group has made in Saldanha Bay processing plants.

The group is in the process of finalising its first financial results for the year ended December 31 following its listing on the JSE in March. The financial results are scheduled to be released on about March 6.

In a trading statement on Monday, Sea Harvest said it expected to report a basic earnings per share (EPS) figure of between 110c and 124c, representing an increase of between 28% and 44% over the year before, as disclosed in the company’s pre-listing statement on March 6 2017.

Expected basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) is projected at between 99c and 113c, an increase of between 74% and 98%.

In December, the company, which apart from hake operations in SA has a controlling stake in Australian diversified seafood business Mareterram, said in a cautionary statement that it had started negotiations with unlisted Viking Fishing Holdings, for a possible acquisition.

Family-owned Viking had been in the news since it lost a sizeable portion of its inshore hake-fishing allocation, a development that the company unsuccessfully fought to overturn in court.

Viking is among the largest fishing enterprises in SA, involved with products such as hake, pilchards, prawn, snoek and angelfish.

A consortium led by Sea Harvest was also due to bid for 50% of Viking’s sprawling aquaculture business, which included abalone, oysters, mussels and rainbow trout.