Grimsby-based processor earnings rise while being up for sale.
In a press release, Young’s Seafood reported a turnover of GPB 545.9 million, an increase of 4.3% year on year, and EBITDA of GPB 23 million, which had grown 13.3% year on year, along with strong operational cash management.
CEO of Young’s Seafood Bill Showalter said: “Sales growth, contract wins, and cost-saving initiatives have resulted in significant EBITDA growth for our business this year. Young’s Seafood has a strong track record of operational success and remains the UK’s clear market leader in both chilled and frozen fish and seafood.
“Our fourth quarter saw continued Turnover growth, with solid EBITDA, building on the traction through the year. Frozen sales have returned to the long-term trend of year on year growth, while cost reduction programmes have underpinned our sales performance. During the year we also achieved net leverage improvements and finished the year with £19.4m cash in the bank.
“Our exports programme has maintained year on year growth, up 180% on quarter four last year, demonstrating the popularity, demand, and potential for further growth of our brand in other markets. Proudly making delicious fish dishes for over 200 years, Young’s continues to be the UK’s leading fish and seafood business, inspiring consumers to love fish through our fresh, frozen, own-label and branded products.”
The UK’s largest processor formally announced it was up for sale in April 2018. A few months later, the company confirmed the closure of its Pinneys of Scotland plant in Annan with the loss of 450 jobs. In January this year, Young’s Seafood’s said that it was aiming to reduce the number of staff at its Waitrose-supplying Macrae plant at Livingston, near Edinburgh, by up to 50 people.
The company has been in selling mode for the past year with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, UK Fisheries, and former private equity owner CapVest Fisheries touted at one point as potential buyers. In January, Undercurrent News reported that the sale to CapVest Partners was now looking unlikely and that according to the publication’s sources, an alternative deal could see the company merged with processor Sykes Seafoods, backed by a US-based hedge fund.