Sanford, New Zealand’s largest seafood company, posted flat earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of NZD 64.8 million (€37.7 million/$41.5 million) for the financial year ending Sept. 30 as the group declined to fish its entire hoki quota and tied up a key vessel following the loss of a crew member.

The company recorded a 1.4 percent decline in net profit after tax (NPAT) to NZD 41.7 million (€24.3 million/$ 26.7 million) for the year.

Sales meanwhile rose 8 percent from year earlier to NZD 558 million (€324.9 million/$357.6 million), despite sales volumes falling by 5 percent to 115,000 metric tons.

While the result did not meet executives' original expectations, it was a "good outcome" following a difficult year and confirms Sanford has adopted the right strategy for challenging times, CEO Volker Kuntzsch said.

Among the challenges the company will face is climate change, which Kuntzsch called the company's "number one risk."

“We see the consequences of warmer waters and adverse weather conditions playing out in the oceans and on our bottom line," the executive said.

"In this situation, it is important for Sanford to be doing the right thing on the water to ensure we fish sustainably, and also to be vigilant and agile so that we are best placed to manage these changes."

Sanford's deepwater vessel the San Granit was tied up for three months after the loss of a crew member, leading to a reduction in catch volumes, as did the company's decision to voluntarily forgo 20,000 metric tons of hoki quota on New Zealand's West Coast as a precautionary sustainability measure.