Warmer sea waters cool Pacific Andes Q1 profits

SINGAPORE - Warmer sea waters in Peru cooled first-quarter earnings for frozen fish supplier Pacific Andes Resources Development, which also called a trading halt on Tuesday morning after the release of its financial results.

Net profit for the three months to Dec 28 sank 22.4 per cent from the previous year to HK$80.5 million, the company said in a Singapore Exchange filing late on Monday night.

Revenue also dived 25.3 per cent from the preceding year to HK$1.81 billion.

Pacific Andes said that its fishery and fish supply division, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, was hurt by a "temporary warming of the sea water in Peru".

This "caused the anchovy to disperse and move south. Consequently, the entire industry in Peru recorded a reduced catch" in the April through July season last year, the company said.

"Despite this, through the implementation of stringent cost and expense control measures and higher average selling prices of fishmeal and fish oil products the division maintained profitability."

Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 1.68 HK cents, less than the 2.17 HK cents a year ago. Net asset value per share rose slightly from HK$2.35 as at Sept 28 to HK$2.37 as at Dec 28 last year.

Pacific Andes shares closed 0.1 cents down at 5.5 cents on Monday. Trading was halted early on Tuesday morning and the halt had not been lifted as of 10.30am on Tuesday.

melissat@sph.com.sg