Thai Union has ended the first quarter of its financial year with net profit of THB1.8 billion (€48 million), up 77% year-on-year, while sales held steady with a 0.1% increase to THB 31.1 billion (€820 million) compared to the first quarter of 2020.
The strong net profit was buoyed by a resurgence in the company’s frozen operations (especially in the US), the PetCare and value-added businesses, prudent cost management, and foreign exchange gains.
During the first quarter, the company's frozen and chilled seafood business rebounded, increasing 10.3% year-on-year to THB 12.1 billion (€320 million), with a particularly strong performance in the US – Thai Union’s largest market – where food services improved substantially due to an easing of restrictions in the hospitality trade.
PetCare, value-added, and other strands of the business also performed well during the quarter, with sales up 20.8% year-on-year to THB 5.5 billion.
Although the ambient seafood business reported a 13.1% decline in sales to THB 13.6 billion compared to the unusual first quarter of 2020 when people stocked up on canned food at the beginning of COVID-19, ambient seafood sales showed an increase of 0.9% compared to the pre-covid first quarter of 2019.
Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO at Thai Union Group, said, "Resilience is absolutely critical during a global pandemic such as COVID-19 and, throughout this crisis, Thai Union has worked incredibly hard to carefully manage our global business – 15 brands, 14 production locations, and 10 corporate offices in 16 countries around the world."
The first quarter marked the launch of alternative protein products like OMG MEAT in Thailand, as well as ingredients from tuna co-products such as UNIQBONE, a tuna bone powder by the Thai Union group.
The seafood producer also announced partnerships with The Nature Conservancy and the Ocean Disclosure Project, with the aim of providing more transparency to the sourcing of seafood.
The company played a role in helping communities impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through product donations during the quarter.
This included delivering more than 40,000 servings of cat food across Thailand, more than 30,000 servings of food to communities impacted by COVID-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, along with 500 fans and 250 power strips to support a hospital caring for COVID-19 patients.