Seafood heavyweight Thai Union reported an increase in revenue and operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2022, partly due to strong demand from its pet division and lower freight costs.

The Bangkok-based firm reported THB 39.6 billion (€1 billion/$1.1 billion) in sales and an operating profit of THB 2.4 billion (€653 million/$ 697 million) during the fourth quarter, an increase of 2.9 percent and 20.6 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The company reported an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of THB of 1.7 billion (€462 million/$494 million), a decline of 28 percent year-on-year.

The firm’s increase in operating profit was partly driven by lower selling, general and administrative expenses, owing to lower freight costs and lower marketing and advertising expenses, the company said in its results update.

The company’s pet care division, which spun off its i-Tail Corporation on the Thailand stock exchange during the quarter, saw a 34 percent growth in sales. I-Tail will establish two new companies in China and the Netherlands, the group announced following the listing.

Thai Union's shelf-stable seafood division grew by 13 percent, while its frozen and chilled seafood was down by a similar amount, and the value-added division saw a decline of about 2.5 percent.

Freight costs and transit time are normalizing, but inflation is expected to remain high in 2023, and due to the to inflationary pressures, the group’s overall cost of goods sold increased by around 11 percent during 2022.

The cost increases were mainly due to higher costs of seafood raw materials, packaging, and ingredients.

For the full year, the group's reported a sales of BHT 155 billion (€4.2 billion/$4.5 billion) and an EBIT of BHT 8.5 billion (€231 million/$247 million), which corresponds to an increase of 10.3 percent and a fall of 20.3 percent, respectively, compared to 2021.

Tracking trends in seafood markets