Clearwater sales up, but profits down

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CLEARWATER, one of the Canada\’s leading seafood companies and owners of Macduff Shellfish in Scotland, has reported an increase in sales, but lower gross profits during 2017.
The Nova Scotia based company, which is embroiled in a dispute with the Canadian government over the loss of 25 per cent of its lucrative clam fishery to Atlantic coast indigenous groups, has just reported its 2017 fourth quarter and annual results at the same time.
The 2017 sales and adjusted EBITDA totalled (Canadian) $621.0 million and $108.6 million versus 2016 results of $611.6 million and $120.9 million.
Fourth quarter sales and adjusted EBITDA were $174.8 million and $28.5 million compared to $165.7 million and $29.5 million in 2016.
The growth rate for the full year evened out at 1.5 per cent, but it accelerated to 5.5 per cent in the final quarter.
Lower Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for coldwater shrimp and soft market conditions for langoustines and king scallops were offset by volume increases in clams, sea scallops and Argentine scallops.
Clearwater, which paid £98 million for Macduff of Aberdeenshire in October 2015, said foreign exchange rates were ‘unfavourable’ as the Canadian dollar strengthened against the US dollar, the British pound and the yen, negatively impacting on sales and gross margin by $12 million for all currencies.
This unfavourable foreign exchange impact was partially offset by Clearwater’s foreign exchange hedging programme, which contributed $3.1 million of realised gains within adjusted EBITDA.
On the clam row, the company said: ‘In 2018, we will be making necessary adjustments to the clam business to protect the hundreds of remaining jobs in the fishery and  long-term shareholder value, while we continue to pursue our legal options.’
The company, which is to challenge the government’s ruling, added: ‘In 2018, Clearwater will continue to navigate the combined forces of technological change, globalisation and Mother Nature.’


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