"Following years of exceptionally strong growth, we are pleased to report that in fiscal 2013, High Liner Foods achieved the highest sales and earnings in its history," announced Mr Demone, CEO.
"The acquisition of American Pride bolstered sales in the fourth quarter and contributed to a strong finish to the year, which overall, has been a successful year, but hasn't been without its challenges.
"Excluding American Pride, sales in the fourth quarter from our US food service business and our US and Canadian retail value-added private label businesses declined on a year-over-year basis. This was consistent with what we experienced in the first three quarters of the year, reflecting continued soft sales in the US restaurant industry in 2013 and the trend in the seafood marketplace overall of decreased demand for retail value-added private label seafood products. We were successful in partially offsetting the sales declines in these market segments, with strong sales to club stores in the fourth quarter and continued growth in our retail Sea Cuisine product line in the US."
Mr Demone added: "Adjusted Net Income increased by $3.2 million, or 8.4 per cent, to $41.3 million in fiscal 2013, compared to fiscal 2012. On an overall basis, our seafood costs were lower in 2013 compared to last year, and as a result of amendments made to our term loan in the first quarter of 2013, interest costs were significantly lower in fiscal 2013 than in fiscal 2012. The increase in earnings year-over-year also reflects synergies realized from completing the integration of Icelandic USA, however the full impact of these synergies was partially offset by incremental operating and distribution costs incurred in the US after our plant in Danvers, Massachusetts was closed in the first quarter of 2013. Our facilities experienced production challenges as they worked to integrate products into their production lines that had been previously manufactured by the Danvers plant. Resolving these issues has been a top priority since the first quarter of 2013 and plant throughputs have been consistently improving."
"In late 2010, we made an ambitious, but important, organizational commitment to source all of our seafood from certified sustainable or responsible fisheries and aquaculture, and we set a goal to accomplish this by the end of 2013. Earlier this month, we were extremely pleased to report that by the end of 2013, we'd accomplished 99 per cent of this goal and we remain committed to achieving 100 per cent going forward," explained Mr Demone.