Oceana Group Limited (OGL) reported a 10% increase in headline earnings per share and a 30% increase for earnings per share for the six months ended 31 March 2011. Operating profit before abnormal items increased by 11% compared with the first half of the previous year.

Turnover in the French fries business suffered due to competition from lower priced imported product. This resulted in a decline in profit for the six months.

Significantly higher profits were recorded from horse mackerel in the midwater and deep-sea fishing sector. Catches increased in Namibia and South Africa as a result of technology and efficiency improvements made to vessels in the previous and current year, which had the effect of reducing the catch cost per ton. Conditions in OGL’s major markets remained firm and operating margins improved as a result of the aforementioned factors. Volumes procured from external fleets increased due to favourable market opportunities. Turnover increased appreciably as a consequence of this trading activity and overall.

The hake business showed an improvement on the comparative period, which had been affected by a vessel breakdown.

Revenue for cold storage declined at most of the division’s facilities as a result of lower occupancy levels and throughput volumes. “The reduction in demand was in respect of both local and imported product. The expansion at our facility at City Deep, Johannesburg was commissioned in February,” Kuttel said.

Commenting on prospects, Brey stated that, “Generally, fishing conditions are expected to remain stable. Purse seine fishing conditions for anchovy should improve in the winter months, weather permitting. Higher fuel prices will impact fishing costs in the second half, particularly midwater and deep-sea trawling sectors. Oceana’s export markets in Africa and the Far East are expected to be stable whilst its European markets may show some improvement albeit off a low base. Further volume increase is anticipated in the local market for canned fish. In the cold storage division, improved fruit volumes will be handled this season compared to the previous year.” Headline earnings for the full year are expected to exceed those of last year, although the forecast information has not been reviewed or audited by the company’s auditors.

An interim dividend of 37 cents per share has been declared (2010: 33 cents per share).

For further information please contact:
Anthea Abraham: Communications Manager
Oceana Group Limited
Tel: +27 21 – 410 1427 / Cell no: 082 041 0041 / E-mail: / Visit: