Huon Aquaculture’s full-year profit has fallen 64 per cent after the Tasmanian fish farmer’s previously announced poor harvest was affected by contact with jellyfish.
The jellyfish event exacerbated the fall in harvest volumes and higher operating costs carried over from the previous year, resulting in a net profit of $9.45 million, down from $26.4 million in the previous year.
An 18 per cent reduction in fish harvests drove a revenue decline of 11.31 per cent to $281.95 million for the 12 months to June 30.
“Huon Aquaculture’s financial performance in FY2019 suffered from the impact of two environmental events which were both costly to manage as well as having a material effect on the health and growth of our salmon,” chief executive Peter Bender said.
Harvest weights fell to 4.40kg from 4.78kg a year ago after fish growth was impaired by the disease gill necrosis, which was caused by jellyfish contact and made worse by warm water temperatures that lingered until April this year.
While Mr Bender acknowledged the company’s challenges, he said such events were to be expected when working with nature and the company was well on its way to a strong recovery in FY2020.
“FY2020 will be the first year since 2014 when Huon is not implementing significant change in some part of its business,” Mr Bender said.
The company has declared a final dividend of 3.0 cents, down 2.0 cents from the previous year, franked at 50 per cent.