Seaflower Whitefish operating under government-owned firm Fishcor has paid out a dividend of N$5 million to the Governors’ Trust that owns a 22 percent share in the fishing corporation.
Fishcor consists of Seaflower Whitefish – that has a hake quota – and Seaflower Lobster. Seaflower Lobster is fully owned by Fishcor that granted the 22 percent stake to the Governor’s Trust.
At the handing over of the cheque Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau expressed gratitude to Fishcor for its social commitment, as evidenced in its ensuring that the operations of both entities under its stable are well managed. He said the path to sustainability and profitability leads to secure employment and improvement of the livelihood of the population at large. Esau also commended the Seaflower Group for appointing a consultant to work with the management to develop a five-year strategic plan that will outline the key areas of focus and investment to meet the objectives of the Group.
He also said Fishcor recently concluded a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to establish an onshore horse mackerel processing factory. The investment is expected create approximately 300 new jobs and will lead to innovation in product development and increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP.
In light of this development, a consultant has been appointed and is currently conducting the feasibility study, to be concluded before the end of this year.
Esau also noted that Fishcor experienced a shutdown of its operations throughout the 2013/2014 fishing season, with one of its two subsidiaries, Seaflower Whitefish, facing challenges with vessel breakdowns that caused operations to grind to a halt between June and September 2013 and again between April and June 2014.
In response had Esau appointed a new board of directors with the primary objective to ensure the resumption of operations and devise a turnaround strategy for the Group. Throughout these challenges the board and management have been committed to turning around the fortunes of the Group to enable it to meet its financial obligations and deliver on the company’s mandate. As a result of these interventions, the financial position of the Group has improved tremendously, with revenue increasing from N$86 million in 2014 to N$357 million, as at September 30, 2015, which translates into a net profit of approximately N$39 million from a net loss of N$1.5 million in 2014.
Profitability continues to improve in the current financial year, with sales revenue growth up by 28% compared to the same period last year.