Qian Hu Corp bounces back from hard year, reports full year net profit of $302,000

ORNAMENTAL fish breeder Qian Hu Corp is bouncing back from the doldrums with an encouraging result in the fourth quarter after a difficult year.

Earnings for the three months to Dec 31 came in at $69,000, reversing a loss of $49,000 for the same period a year earlier. Revenue climbed 8.7 per cent to $21.6 million over the same period.

It was a similar story for the full year with net profit of $302,000, turning around a net loss of $9.14 million.

But revenue slipped 1.2 per cent to $83.5 million due to an oversupply of the dragon fish that depressed prices.

Breeding and distributing live fish is one of three major revenue drivers for Qian Hu.

It also sells and distributes aquarium and pet accessories such as tanks, plants and fish food and plastics in the form of bags used to export fish.

Sales for all three segments improved in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier.

Qian Hu said it sold more dragon fish to China and other parts of North-east Asia as prices had stabilised by the second half of 2013.

However, ornamental fish sales were affected by the protests in Bangkok in recent months and prolonged floods in South Thailand.

Executive chairman and managing director Kenny Yap said in a statement: "We are cautiously optimistic that our performance in Thailand will continue to be resilient despite momentary declines in sales due to the political situation in Bangkok."

Its accessories division - the largest revenue contributor - performed better on the back of sales of Qian Hu's proprietary brands.

Sales of its plastics arm also increased through a larger customer base and greater product variety.

Mr Yap said Qian Hu is on track to achieving its long-term goal of doubling its market share worldwide from 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

He also expects the company to be the first dragon fish farm to genetically produce unique variations of the fish in the next few years.

The board has proposed a final cash dividend of 0.1 cent per share, which will be paid on April 15. It paid shareholders a special interim cash dividend on Nov 20 last year, amounting to about $2.3 million.

Earnings per share for the full year came in at 0.07 cent, reversing a loss of 2.01 cents from a year ago. Net asset value per share stood at 11.23 cents as of Dec 31, down from 11.92 cents the previous year.