Clean Seas considers the partial sale of its yellowtail kingfish operations to alleviate the situation. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)
Clean Seas struggles against disappointing results
Friday, August 17, 2012, 15:20 (GMT + 9)
The sickness of a lot of breeding yellowtail kingfish and the death of southern bluefin tuna juveniles due to colder temperatures has forced the South Australian aquaculture company Clean Seas Tuna Ltd to undertake drastic action to stay afloat.
The firm’s revenues from ordinary activities fell by 39 per cent to AUD 23.9 million (USD 25.1 million) in the 12 months ending on 30 June, 2012. And the company suffered a net loss of AUD 30.8 million (USD 32.3 million), which represented a 5 per cent improvement compared with the results of the previous year.
“This result is extremely disappointing especially given the positive expectations from moving to new sites for grow‐out. It is equally disappointing in that the results are similar to last financial year, but calls for new and challenging initiatives to profitably reposition the Company,” Clean Seas wrote in a statement.
Action plans now underway to alleviate the situation include seeking a joint venturing arrangement (JV) or partial sale of the firm’s yellowtail kingfish operations, sales of surplus assets, a consolidation of its kingfish activity with consequent right‐sizing of operational needs and an accelerated advancement of its projected southern bluefin tuna spawning timing to October 2012. These activities are underpinned by cost reduction strategies across the business, which include layoffs.
On the other hand, FY2012 operating results were positively affected by further improvement on returns from kingfish sales. Demand remains high and the price achieved per kg was 20 per cent higher year-on-year despite the appreciation of the AUD. There was also ongoing and encouraging customer support across the firm’s major markets and positive southern bluefin tuna juvenile survival to the weaning stage.
The negative impacts came from severe health problems experienced in the yellowtail kingfish, which led to losses from fish mortality, poor performance, compromised fish growth and expenses from health problem investigations. This brought a write down of asset values in the business by AUD 17.7 million (USD 18.6 million) and there were also juvenile bluefin tuna deaths due to colder temperatures.
For Clean Seas, FY2012 has seen some advancement with the tuna fingerling production and the company anticipates further progress from the October spawning.
“It has been an extremely disappointing year for our kingfish operations and we continue to focus on mitigating further losses, understanding and addressing the cause,” Clean Seas wrote. “In summary, and with the absence of further deterioration in kingfish health, we are confident that we will reposition the company to better achieve the initial goal of commercially farming southern bluefin tuna from propagated fingerlings.”
- Clean Seas still suffering from kingfish troubles
By Natalia Real