Fishery purchase helps lift Pacific Andes earnings 12pc

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2006, 12:00am

Pacific Andes International, a frozen fish and fish fillet supplier, said full-year profit rose 12 per cent, helped by additional income from buying a fishery firm.

Profit for the year to March rose to $183.1 million from $163.2 million in the previous period and turnover gained 16.2 per cent to $6.16 billion from $5.3 billion. The final dividend will be 5.2 cents.

Earnings growth was partly boosted by the company's expansion in the upstream business after buying a 49 per cent stake in China Fishery in August 2004.

China Fishery, in which Pacific Andes now owns a 31 per cent stake after it was spun off, contributed $620.2 million in sales and $55.9 million in profit to Pacific Andes.

The unit was listed in Singapore in January, yielding a one-off gain of $81 million for Pacific Andes.

Pacific Andes said its business will expand further following the US$100 million purchase of three fishing firms in Peru by China Fishery last month.

'After the acquisition of the three Peruvian companies and expansion of our Qingdao Fish Processing Plant, total output of our frozen fish products can reach 850,000 tonnes each year, accounting for 1 per cent of the world's ocean fish resources,' said finance director Joe Cheng.

The Peruvian companies own a fleet of 13 fishing vessels and four fish-meal plants. They produce mainly fish meal, which can be used as feed for dairy cows and chickens.

Mr Cheng expected fish product prices to keep rising because a UN study suggested that global demand would grow to 133 million tonnes annually by 2015 while supply would remain at 85 million tonnes due to government curbs.

Kyoshoku, a distributor owned 60 per cent by Pacific Andes, reported a loss of $32 million for the year to March. The firm has moved production from Japan to China and is expected to break even this year.