Clear sky for Clearwater

CLEARWATER Seafoods, one of North America’s leading fish supply businesses, has reported impressive growth and sales for the second quarter of this year.
Driven by strong demand and a higher exchange rate, sales emerged at (Canadian) $113.4 million, representing growth of 19 per cent.
The Nova Scotia-based company said a rolling twelve month adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow increased by $9.4 million to $81.8 million and by $10.7 million to $37.5 million, respectively.
The company’s growth so far this was 16.8 per cent and 9.7 per cent in sales and adjusted EBITDA respectively.
Clearwater said its business experiences a seasonal pattern in which sales, margins and adjusted EBITDA are lower in the first half of the year while investments in capital expenditures and working capital are typically higher, resulting in lower free cash flows in the first half of the year and higher free cash flows in the second half of the year.
The company was clearly in upbeat mood about the future. It said global demand for seafood was outpacing supply, creating favourable market dynamics for vertically integrated producers such as Clearwater which had strong resource access.
Demand had been driven by growing worldwide population, shifting consumer tastes towards healthier diets and rising purchasing power of middle class consumers in emerging economies.
It also cautioned that the supply of wild seafood was limited and was expected to continue to lag behind the growing global demand.
The upside of this is that the supply-demand imbalance had created a market place in which purchasers of seafood were increasingly willing to pay a premium to suppliers that could provide consistent quality and food safety, wide diversity and reliable delivery of premium, wild, sustainably harvested seafood.
‘Clearwater, like other vertically integrated seafood companies, is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity because of its licenses, premium product quality, diversity of species, global sales footprint, and year-round harvest and delivery capability,’ the company said.
Chief executive, Ian Smith, said: ‘We are delighted with the results in the second quarter in both harvesting and sales.
‘We posted strong sales results across our portfolio of sustainably harvested, wild caught seafood and are maintaining our annual financial targets.
‘Also, we have continued to invest and advance several major capital projects that are key to sustaining our long term growth, profitability and competitiveness.’