Salmon farmer and marketer Tassal expects bigger fish and the premium prices that they attract, especially in export markets, will help the company achieve another record financial result in the current financial year.
Tassal wants to grow salmon weighing five kilograms or more in 2017/18 – up from an average of 4.8 kilograms in 2016/17.
Chief executive Mark Ryan says fish will grow bigger if they are kept in the water longer in the right environmental conditions, and fed more.
“Getting more out of our fish delivers better bottom lines,” he said on Wednesday.
“Bigger fish get a better price at the end of the day.”
Tassal said it is exporting more fish because overseas markets are offering premium prices for larger fish.
With Asian demand strong, Tassal will open an export office in Shanghai in China this financial year.
Mr Ryan said the company can get its salmon to Asian markets a day earlier than the Norwegians can, and customers favour Tassal’s fish because they have a smaller head relative to body mass.
Tassal will accelerate its investment in new technology, such as moving cameras to monitor its fish and automated feeders that do not require human intervention.
The company’s net profit rose 20 per cent to $58.1 million in the year to June 30, and it said good conditions for growing fish and a shift to higher-margin wholesale markets drove the performance boost.
Tasmania-based Tassal – which owns seafood wholesaler De Costi Seafoods – said the 18 per cent increase in earnings to $114.6 million was a record result.
Mr Ryan said Tassal’s focus over the next 12 months is to grow fish biomass amid favourable environmental conditions.
“Combined with an optimised sales mix and the step change in biomass that Tassal has achieved, Tassal’s board expects to deliver another record result in FY2018,” he said.
Tassal shares gained 11 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $3.91.
BIGGER FISH AND MORE WHOLESALING BOOSTS TASSAL:
* Full year net profit up 19.8pct to $58.1m
* Revenue up 4.5pct to $450.5m
* Final fully franked dividend of 7.5 cents, unchanged