Profits have continued to decline at Young’s Seafood despite its sales returning to growth in the year to 30 September 2017.
Its latest results come as speculation intensifies over a potential sale of the business, with Princes owner Mitsubishi holding exploratory talks pre-Christmas over a multimillion pound deal, as revealed by The Grocer earlier this month.
EBITDA at Young’s owner Lion Gem Luxembourg 3 Sarl fell another 13% to £20.3m, on top of a 42% drop in the previous year following the loss of crucial salmon supplying contract with Sainsbury’s.
Revenues in the year at the seafood processor increased 5.7% to £523.3m as a result if new contracts and growth for its branded portfolio. Sales at the business plunged almost £90m in the 2015/16 financial year after it loss a salmon processing contract with Sainsbury’s to Marine Harvest.
“Contract wins and the growth of our market leading brand have continued our EBITDA improvement trend and delivered annual turnover growth,” CEO Bill Showalter said.
“Our fourth quarter saw double-digit sales growth, with significant growth in both frozen and chilled temperature regimes.
“In addition to share growth, we’ve also made positive progress in the foodservice channel, following our contract win with a major fast food retail company. Our exports programme is also delivering with accelerated export orders to the USA. Bringing restaurant quality fish into new categories, we closed the year as the clear number one brand in frozen seafood.”
Young’s has ramped up its export expansion this year, winning its first supermarket listings in the US. Selected SKUs from its core frozen range went on sale in early January in about 4,000 Walmart stores and Walmart-owned Sam’s Clubs, in addition to 800 US outlets owned by Dutch supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize.