Thai Union Group, which owns the John West and Chicken of the Sea seafood brands among others, has posted what it says was a record quarterly sales performance in the fourth quarter of its financial year.
The group recorded sales of THB 36 billion (€1.02 billion) for the period, which was a 3.7% year-on-year increase, the company said.
Operating profit was up 55.2% in the period to THB 1.5 billion, its highest quarterly margin in two years, the company said.
Over the full year, Thai Union said that its consolidated full-year sales declined 1.2% to THB 133.3 billion, due to the Thai baht's appreciation against the US dollar. If foreign currency impact is excluded, the group's full-year sales would have been 0.5% higher.
Full-year 2018 gross profit was down 2.2% year-on-year, due to material prices and foreign exchange rate volatility.
"Despite challenging market conditions, we stayed firmly focused on operational excellence and profitability improvement," aid Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union. "The good results from last quarter gives us confidence that 2019 will see a stronger and successful year."
North America accounted for 39% of the company's sales last year, with Europe contributing 30%, and Thailand contributing 11%. Between them, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and South America contributed 20%.
Looking to the coming year, Thai Union said that it hopes to achieve a 5% increase in organic sales growth and a 15% gross profit margin, with the introduction of stringent cost control initiatives contributing to further profit recovery.
The year 2018 saw Thai Union step up its sustainability strategy, SeaChange, which included joining the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to help reduce the growing problem of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) worldwide.
The company was ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for its sustainability efforts.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.