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Impressive First Quarter from HQ Sustainable

GENERAL - HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc., a leader in natural aquaculture processing has announced that its gross profit for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 22 per cent to $4.8 million, compared to gross profit of $3.9 million for the same period of 2008.

Sales were also up 18 per cent to $10.8 million. The Aquaculture Product segment accounted for $7.3 million and sales from the Health and Bio-product segment were $3.5 million, up 32 per cent.

"I am very pleased by our performance during the first quarter. We hit the ground running in 2009, building upon the momentum we gained from a very strong 2008. Our growth this quarter was achieved in spite of this being a traditionally slower period as a result of decreased business activity surrounding the Chinese New Year. Our business also proved resilient in a tough global economic environment, as we experienced strong sales improvements in both of our segments. Our push into new product areas is also progressing positively, highlighted by the favorable reception that that Lillian's Healthy Gourmet(TM) line of products received at the recent food shows in Boston and Brussels," said Norbert Sporns, CEO of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc.

Sporns concluded, "I strongly believe that HQS is at the forefront of a sustainability revolution, driven in part by our customers' desire to create a greener future for their children. Our customers and clients are also beginning to recognize that it is possible, even in a recession, to provide a healthy affordable family meal. From our standpoint, we are providing a healthy sustainable resource that does not impact our world's oceans or ecosystems. At HQS, we strongly believe that it is possible to be both environmentally sound, and profitable, which we continue to prove quarter after quarter."

Operating income for the first quarter increased to over $1 million, from $724,077 in March 2008. Although the gross profit increased in 2009 by approximately $853,000, increased marketing and advertising costs in the health and bio-product segment, to support the marketing of new products, reduced income from operations in the current quarter. EBITDA for the quarter increased 37.6 per cent to $1.5 million, from $1.1 million for the same period last year.

For the three months ended March 31, 2009, finance costs substantially decreased to $518,000, or 68.4 per cent, from $1.6 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2008. The decrease was due to the phasing out of certain non-cash financial costs.

Net income for the first quarter was $1.1 million, compared to a net loss of $1 million for the first quarter of 2008.

the Fish Site Editor

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