LÜDERITZ – The National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) on Friday paid out dividends of N$6 million to the Regional Governors Trust, which owns 22 percent, shares in the state-owned fishing company.
Fishcor consists of Seaflower Whitefish, which has a hake quota, and Seaflower Lobster is fully owned by Fishcor that granted the 22 percent stake to the Governors Trust.
The handover happened during the Fishcor annual general meeting (AGM) held here on Friday, during which Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau expressed gratitude to Fishcor and its sister companies within the Seaflower family.
Esau indicated that it is a requirement under the Companies Act of 2004, that every corporation should hold an AGM in order to appraise the shareholders and other stakeholders on the financial, operational and compliance performance of such companies.
He praised the board and management of Fishcor for employing a culture of transparency, which saw the new board ensuring that AGMs are consistently held since its appointment in 2015.
Fishcor was able to fully utilise the quota allocated for commercial purposes of hake and lobster which was a total of 10, 843.49 metric tonnes and 50.69 metric tonnes respectively during 2016/2017 financial year.
”I am happy to note that through Seaflower Lobster Corporation, Fishcor continues to support the lobster right holders by providing access to a processing facility despite the challenge of minimal returns on investment in terms of reduced profits from this entity,” said Esau.
Esau also commended the Seaflower Group for increasing its revenue to N$393.66 million in the 2016/2017 financial year from N$313.15 million in the 2015/2016 financial year, representing a growth of 26 percent.
The increase in revenue was due to growth in volumes and favourable prices achieved for Seaflower Whitefish Corporation Limited and Seacope Freezer Fishing (Pty) LTD hake sales to Europe and South Africa.
The group’s growth in profitability over the twelve-month period ending September 2017, that reported profit after taxation in the 2016/2017 financial year, was N$67.93 million compared to N$40.69 million in 2015/2016 financial year.
The group assets grew by six percent to N$499.27 million from N$471.64 million and are expected to further grow by 20 percent in the 2018 financial year, with this anticipated growth attributed to the acquisition of two Whitefish trawlers by the group.
From 1 May 2014 to 30 September 2017 Fishcor’s consolidated total assets grew significantly by more than three-fold from N$157 million to N$499 million. This has led to the accumulated losses of N$77 million turning into positive retained earnings of N$35 million over the same period.
Esau further stated that the continuous investment into the fleet and production capacity of the group has resulted in the acquisition of two new hake trawlers, namely MFV Ohamba and MFV Seaflower, which will be operated by Seaflower Whitefish Corporation. Both vessels docked in Walvis Bay from Vigo in Spain, fully manned by Namibian officers and crew, across international waters, being a first in the history of the Namibian fishing industry.
Additionally, in order to improve efficiency within the production factory, the company has invested approximately N$54 million in re-engineering equipment which will be installed in January 2019, allowing the introduction of second shift and capacity utilisation over 24 hours.
“Value addition and employment creation are two aspects that cannot be separated or ignored in the fishing sector in particular, and the Namibian economy as a whole. We need fishing companies to invest in value addition and to create employment for our people in order to reduce poverty, hunger and income inequality,” the minister said.