…Records 67% profit jump, moots doubling workforce
By Hilary Mare
THE National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) will more than double its workforce when it commissions its pelagic processing factory in Walvis Bay this September.
With a current staff compliment of approximately 661 employees spread around its subsidiaries – Seaflower Lobster Corporation, Seaflower Whitefish Corporation and Seacope Freezer- its new additional subsidiary, Seaflower Pelagic Processing which was established last year will freeze up to 600 metric tonnes (mt) of fish daily and provide 700 new direct jobs with female employees dominating at 70 percent.
The group’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Nghipunya told media last week that the company established with Fishcor holding 40 percent equity interest and 60 percent owned by Africa Selection Fishing Namibia (Pty) Ltd (part of the AST Group Angola) is well on course to complete its on shore horse mackerel processing factory which should be completed within the scheduled time by 30 September 2018.
Africa Selection Fishing Namibia contributed N$370 million for demolishing, construction and refrigeration and the total project cost at completion is around N$530 million.
“The factory which will be the largest onshore pelagic processing factory in Southern Africa will employ around 700 people and will freeze around 600 metric tonnes of fish a day. The project will offer a good platform for processing collaboration with other operators in the industry,” Nghipunya said.
In essence, the factory has the capacity to process more than 70,000mt of fish per year with 50,000mt of quota guaranteed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Fishcor will receive usage fees and profits.
In the latest 2017 financial report of the group, Board Chairperson, James Hatuikulipi further affirms that the factory will be completed by September making it one of the fastest construction projects supported by government. “The board is delighted to report that the construction of this factory is at an advanced stage. The total cost for the project including RSW vessels for supplying the factory with raw materials, is expected to amount to approximately N$530 million upon completion. We expect the factory to be commissioned at the end of September 2018,” notes Hatuikulipi in the report.
Change of Fortunes
Since the change in Fishcor management in 2014, the company has had a change in fortunes. From a net loss of around N$1.5 million in the 2014 financial year, the parastatal managed to leap to a profit of over N$ 38 million in 2015 and above N$40 million in 2016.
According to the current annual report for 2017, the group revenue increased to N$393.657.919 from N$313.148.325 in the 2016 financial year, representing a growth of 26 percent.
“The increase in revenue was due to the good prices achieved for Seaflower Whitefish Corporation’s hake sales to Europe and South Africa and orange roughy sales to Europe,” the parastatal said.
In the same financial year, the group’s reported profit after taxation was N$67.925.119 which represents a growth of 67 percent compared to N$40.685.219 achieved in the 2016 financial year. Group assets grew by 6 percent from N$471.635 million to N$499.269 million.
“Under the guidance of the Board, the group will continue to make an effort to accelerate the implementation of the strategic objectives as set out in vision 2021. Key among the initiatives to achieve these is the acquisition of the additional vessels to expand the fleet, the completion and commissioning of the horse mackerel processing factory, enhancing current level of organisational performance, strengthening relationships with all stakeholders and continuing to enhance the position of the group in the market,” Hatuikulipi also said in reference to the the Group’s performance.
Fishcor is currently implementing its 2017- 2021 strategic plan which defines five strategic themes that will guide annual operations and planning.
“Key among the initiatives to achieve these is the acquisition of additional vessels to expand the fleet, the completion and commissioning of the horse mackerel processing factory, enhancing current level of organisational performance, strengthening relationships with stakeholders and continuing to enhance the position of the group in the market,” Hatuikulipi added.
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