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Thursday 30 June 2022

NZ King Salmon making Covid comeback

4th November 2020 By Samantha Worthington | | @foodtickernz

New Zealand King Salmon is progressing its way back to pre-Covid sales, following a “rapid decline” of about 60% in its worst week. 

At the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday afternoon, managing director, Grant Rosewarne, said sales had climbed back to “about 15% less” than where they would have been without the virus. 

“During the initial weeks of Covid-19 we certainly saw a rapid decline in sales, decreasing by about 60% during the worst week,” said Rosewarne. 

“Our production team has shown amazing resilience and our sales team excellent teamwork, together with many customers showing fantastic dynamism in pivoting business towards new opportunities.” 

Chairman John Ryder said despite the effect of the pandemic, the company had delivered a “strong result” in FY20 when it posted a 59% increase in profit to $18m, despite revenue falling 10% to $155m. Without Covid the company said it “could have achieved $200m of revenue for the first time”. 

He added he was “optimistic” there would be light at the end of the tunnel due to the company’s diversified portfolio of products, brands and geographies.

King Salmon NZ has four key brands comprising Ōra King, Regal, Southern Ocean, and Omega Plus, as well as the New Zealand King Salmon label, and exports to more than 15 countries internationally.

Ryder said Covid-19 was still likely to provide further uncertainty and challenges, however the company was “positively surprised” by the recovery of its core premium priced, branded products which were since selling at around pre Covid-19 levels. 

Although NZ King Salmon did not provide official profit guidance because of the pandemic, Ryder said the company believed it could be “challenging” for this year’s pro forma EBITDA to exceed FY20. 

The company reported a Solid Pro Forma Operating EBITDA of $25.1m, in line with FY19 and within the FY20 earnings guidance range of $25.0m – 28.5m. 

“In FY22 and beyond, we remain very positive about our prospects – our King Salmon species remains scarce and aspirational, and our branding initiatives continue to be effective in the current environment.” 

NZ King Salmon received the Government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy, which saw it paid out $3.7m for 539 workers.



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