Fish and food processing company Oceana Group has reported a significant surge in revenue, with a 28.9% increase in headline earnings for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. The company, which operates in 31 geographies around the world, has seen growth in various sectors, including its flagship brand Lucky Star.

Neville Brink, the CEO of Oceana Group, highlighted the challenges faced by the company in an interview with CNBC Africa. He acknowledged the constrained consumer market in South Africa, which has been affected by inflation, high interest rates, and unemployment rates. However, Lucky Star has achieved a remarkable volume growth of over 9% by managing selling prices and working closely with trade partners to minimize costs.

In addition to the South African market, Oceana has also experienced growth in the United States. The company’s fishing operations in the US supply fish oil, an ingredient in the pet food and aquaculture industries. With the surge in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pet food market has seen astronomical growth, providing a positive environment for Oceana’s US business.

Oceana’s wild-caught seafood sector, which supplies hake, horse mackerel, and kinkler to West Africa and Western Europe, has faced challenges due to constrained catching rates. However, strong demand for healthy seafood has compensated for these challenges, resulting in a mixed bag of results but an overall successful year for the company.

Looking ahead, Oceana Group plans to focus on maintaining affordability for consumers through its Lucky Star brand. The company has invested heavily in stock, ensuring healthy volumes of Lucky Star cans already available. With the decline of the chicken industry, Oceana aims to maintain competitive prices and capitalize on the continued demand for Lucky Star products.

In the salmon farming sector, there is a continuous demand for fish oil, and Oceana is well-positioned as a producer. The company plans to leverage its healthy fish oil stocks to meet next year’s sales demand. Additionally, Oceana expects improved catching rates in the wild-caught sector due to changing environmental conditions, enhancing the supply of healthy seafood to European and South African markets.

To support future growth, Oceana Group intends to invest significantly in capital expenditure. The company plans to spend approximately 1.2 billion Rand over the next three years, primarily focusing on its West Coast factories for fish meal and fish oil production, as well as the cannery. Oceana has recently opened a new corn meat factory, the first of its kind on the West Coast of South Africa in many years, demonstrating the company’s confidence in its investment prospects.