Friday 15 February 2019

Seafood firm Oceanpath's profits up 28pc

Iceland Seafood International has 11 subsidiaries. Stock image
Iceland Seafood International has 11 subsidiaries. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Pre-tax profits at one of Ireland's largest seafood processors, Oceanpath, jumped 28pc to €1.8m in its last financial year, as the group came under the control of Iceland Seafood International.

The Icelandic firm acquired a 67pc stake of Howth-based Oceanpath last year in a €13m deal. Revenue at Oceanpath rose 11pc to €35m last year, with the company supplying all major Irish retailers and exporting products to destinations including the Middle East and Asia.

The company was founded by the Ecock family in 1991, and its revenue has grown from €25.2m in its 2015 financial year.

The profit performance by Oceanpath in its last financial year is at the low end of a range predicted by Iceland Seafood International.

It had expected Oceanpath to generate pre-tax profits of between €1.8m and €2.2m in the financial year to the end of last April. The revenue figure at the Irish firm was as the top end of guidance.

Iceland Seafood International is headquartered in Reykjavik and is listed on the Nasdaq First North Iceland bourse. It has two operating divisions with 11 subsidiaries across Europe and North America. It's applying for a listing on Iceland's main Nasdaq market later this year.

The group raised its guidance in December for its 2018 financial year, saying that its acquisition of Oceanpath and a Spanish firm, combined with strong underlying organic growth, would result in higher than expected profits.

It expects its pro-forma, normalised pre-tax profit for 2018 to be between €10.4m and €10.9m, compared to a previous range of between €9.6m and €10.6. December is a key trading period for the group.

The group had pro-forma annual revenues of about €280m in 2017, including Oceanpath's turnover. Oceanpath also owns the Dunn's of Dublin brand.

Following the acquisition by Iceland Seafood International, 33pc of the Irish group remained in the control of management, including managing director Alan Ecock.

The Icelandic company paid an initial €7.4m for its stake, with an additional €2.48m paid in July last year.

A €2.48m payment is due this July, while there's a potential earn-out of up to €1m depending on the average two-year results until the end of this April.

Irish Independent

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