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New England Seafood pledges to turn around profitability of recently acquired processor

Supplier’s profit climbs around 40% in 2016, but the margins generated still remain 'insufficient,' it says.

UK-based New England Seafood, a major supplier of fresh and frozen seafood and one of the country’s largest importers of fresh tuna, saw its profit after tax soar to £3.9 million (€4.3 million/$5.1 million) in the year ended Oct. 31, 2016, up 44 percent from £2.7 million (€3 million/$3.5 million) posted a year earlier.

However, while the group said this successful growth was “satisfactory,” the margins generated “remain insufficient for the risk and complexity of sourcing sustainable high quality fish."

Nevertheless, the growth was sufficiently encouraging to motivate New England Seafood to acquire the entire share capital of Grimsby-based processor Albert Darnell Holdings Limited.

Although the Albert Darnell Group was not profitable on acquisition “the strategic opportunity to acquire a high-quality food production facility and a committed workforce with many years’ experience of fish processing is an exciting development for the group and all our customers,” said New England Seafood.

“We will turn around its profitability as we utilize the production capacity it offers to absorb our future growth as we continues our exciting journey of growing our chosen species with our customers.”

The additional capacity will also allow New England to introduce its next phase of product and process development to cater for ever evolving consumer demands.

The company’s turnover for the year amounted to £114.7 million (€126.9 million/$149.1 million) up 27 percent from the £90 million (€99.6 million/$117 million) it reported year before

Around £4.9 million (€5.4 million/$6.4 million) of the total turnover came from outside the United Kingdom, it said.

Cost of sales also increased, however, to £97 million (€107.3 million/$126.1 million) resulting in a gross profit of £17.7 million (€19.6 million/$23 million), while operating profit in 2016 was £4.7 million (€5.2 million/$6.1 million) up 38 percent from £3.4 million (€3.8 million/$4.4 million) the previous year.

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