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'Transformational' Viking acquisition boosts Sea Harvest earnings in 2018

The acquisition of rival fishing and aquaculture business enabled diversification, expansion of international reach.

South African fishing giant Sea Harvest reported improved earnings in 2018 thanks to the acquisition of Viking Fishing and Viking Aquaculture, as well as other assets.

Earnings increased 18 percent over the year, to ZAR 278 million (€17.3 million/$19.5 million), while sales increased 21 percent year on year to ZAR 2.58 (€0.16/$0.18) billion.

Operating profit increased 16 percent, to ZAR 389 million (€24.2 million/$27.3 million).

"Sea Harvest had a very busy 12 months," said Felix Ratheb, CEO of Sea Harvest.

"We continued to make sizable investments aimed at securing the sustainability of the business well into the future.

“The positive result was achieved after having to absorb significant once-off transaction and restructuring costs.”

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During the year, the company acquired rival Viking Fishing and Viking Aquaculture, and bought its second freezer fishing vessel to expand its reach into international markets.

It also upgraded its Saldanha Bay factory in Iceland.

Earlier this year, Sea Harvest launched an offer to acquire the remaining 44 percent of its majority owned Australian business Mareterram.

The company reported earnings per share increased 4 percent.

According to Ratheb, the group’s financial results, together with its recent rating as the most empowered company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) within the fishing and food sectors, places Sea Harvest in a good position for further future growth.

“The Viking deal was a transformational transaction for the group, providing Sea Harvest with diversification into other species, additional economies of scale for its core operations and a diversified aquaculture business,” Ratheb said.

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