ANOTHER big player in the North American seafood market has reported an impressive increase in earnings for the second quarter of 2014, indicating that the sector is in relatively good health. High Liner Foods, which has interests in both the US and Canada, announced last night that sales increased in the second quarter of 2014 by US $30.6 million or 14.9 per cent, to $235.5 million compared to $204 million (the American Pride acquisition added $32.1 million in sales).
Only a few days earlier, Canada’s Clearwater announced a 19 per cent increase in sales. For High Liner the adjusted EBITDA decreased in the second quarter of 2014 by $2.6 million, or 13.5 per cent, to $16.7 million compared to $19.3 million.
When added to the first quarter results, the figures show that sales increased in the first six months of 2014 by $58.1 million, or 12.1 per cent to $538.2 million compared to $480.1 million last year.
High Liner’s Chief Executive, Henry Demone, said: ‘Second quarter earnings in 2014 decreased compared to last year largely as a result of lower margins on certain products in our Canadian business’.
‘Raw material costs in our Canadian business have increased in 2014, in part due to a weaker Canadian dollar, and have not been fully recovered through price increases to our customers.’
Demone added a note of caution, saying: ‘Unfortunately, many of our major customers operating in the US foodservice industry are continuing to experience soft sales, creating a challenging environment for this part of our business.
‘We are focused on working with our customers to develop innovative seafood products to help drive increased sales.’