Pre­mier name con­fu­sion dif­fused

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Di­neo Faku

PRE­MIER Food and Fish­ing, a sub­sidiary of African Em­pow­er­ment Eq­uity In­vest­ments is plan­ning a name change due to a row over its name. It said it would change its name to Pre­mier Fish­ing and Brands in Oc­to­ber.

It was re­fer­ring to con­fu­sion with Pre­mier Foods, whose brands in­clude Iwisa and Blue Rib­bon and in which in­vest­ment group Brait has a ma­jor­ity stake.

The name change comes amid re­ports that Pre­mier Foods was tak­ing Pre­mier Food and Fish­ing to court over the com­pany’s name. Pre­mier Foods was con­cerned that mem­bers of the pub­lic would er­ro­neously con­fuse the names.

Pre­mier Food and Fish­ing made its de­but on the JSE in March to be­come the first com­pany to list on the bourses this year, when it listed on the farm­ing, fish­ing and plan­ta­tions sec­tor of the JSE’s main board.

It raised R526 mil­lion on the list­ing date through is­su­ing of 117 mil­lion new shares to the pub­lic.

The cap­i­tal raised was ex­pected to be used to ex­pand the abalone farm and for fur­ther ac­qui­si­tions of fish­ing and re­lated prod­ucts as part of the com­pany’s growth strat­egy.

In the half year to Fe­bru­ary, the com­pany achieved a solid per­for­mance on the back of in­creased sales vol­umes in the lob­ster and squid busi­nesses.

It re­ported that in the pe­riod it had in­creased rev­enue by 7 per­cent to R182m in line with ex­pected growth.

It also im­proved catch rates and re­ported bet­ter sales vol­umes which re­sulted in a 14 per­cent rise in op­er­at­ing profit to R25m. The di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion in the var­i­ous fish species sup­ported the strat­egy.

Due to its sea­sonal na­ture the com­pany has a stronger per­for­mance dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year and that the food and fish­ing divi­sion was ex­pected to meet its fore­cast.

Pre­mier Food and Fish­ing is owned one of the coun­try’s largest black-owned fish­ing com­pa­nies, Pre­mier Fish­ing South Africa, which has a 65-year track record.

The com­pany said in May that its abalone divi­sion con­tin­ued to fo­cus on in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and ef­fi­cien­cies. It said that the plan­ning and de­sign for the ex­pan­sion project would com­mence shortly on the Gans­baai farm.

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