China Fishery runs a fleet of about 80 fishing boats and exports most of its catch to China. (Photo: Stock File/China Fishery/FIS)
China Fishery embraces African seafood and market
Friday, November 26, 2010, 02:50 (GMT + 9)
China Fishery considers Africa a source of seafood as well as a potential export market for its products, said its managing director. The company recently began fishing off the coast of Mauritania in Northern Africa for species such as horse mackerel and sardines.
"China continues to play a very important role but we do see Africa as up and coming," Ng Joo Siang said.
He believes business with Africa will start adding to revenues and profits in this very quarter, and that the continent could go from less than 7 per cent of total sales to making up 20-30 per cent of them in three to four years, reports Reuters.
China Fishery’s turnover took a 10.4 per cent jump from USD 488.2 million to USD 538.9 million, mainly due to higher sales volumes in its trawling operations in the North Pacific, higher prices for fishmeal and the maiden full year contribution from its trawling operations in the South Pacific. Sales to China made up 69.6 per cent of the revenue while Japan and Korea accounted for 12.8 per cent, Europe for 9.8 per cent and South East Asia, West Africa and others 7.8 per cent.
There was major growth in gross profit, which rose by 30.2 per cent from USD 153.2 million to USD 199.4 million in FY2010, due to higher operational efficiency in trawling as well as fishmeal operations.
The Group recently signed a USD 425 million-Club Loan Facility Agreement with five international banks. It is committed for four years and encompasses a term loan facility of USD 340 million and a revolving loan facility of USD 85 million, to be used above all for refinancing existing debts and financing the Group’s general working capital necessities.
“In staying committed to our three-pronged growth strategy of increasing market share, improving efficiency and utilisation of our vessels, and increasing our equity base, we believe we are on track for another year of growth in FY2011,” Ng stated.
He said demand for fish in emerging markets like China and Africa especially should stay up and that seafood prices are favourable. The Group will take advantage of this by seeking acquisitions in new geographical markets and consolidating opportunities in the markets in which it is already involved.
“We continued to streamline our fishing fleet and fishmeal processing plants in Peru during the year and will seek to further improve our efficiency and utilisation where possible. To this end, during the South Pacific non-fishing season, we plan to deploy our South Pacific fleet to Mauritania – a fishing ground in Africa rich in target species such as horse mackerel and sardines, to further enhance utilization,” he contiued.
Hong Kong-based China Fishery is listed in Singapore. It runs a fleet of about 80 fishing boats and exports most of its catch to China.
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