High Liner Foods third-quarter profit up from year ago, revenue dips

LUNENBURG, N.S. – High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX:HLF) has more than tripled its quarterly earnings compared with a year ago, helped by lower raw material and financing costs.

The frozen seafood company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday it earned US$7.4 million or 48 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 28 compared with a profit of $2.2 million or 14 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Adjusted earnings increased in the third quarter to $10.4 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, up from $8 million, or 52 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue was $216.5 million, down from $219.9 million.

In its outlook, the company said higher prices for shrimp and haddock may hurt volumes as well as margins for certain products over the balance of the year and into 2014.

“The decline in our U.S. food service sales compared to 2012 continues to be disappointing, but to the extent there are improvements in this sector of the U.S. economy, we believe the company is well positioned for its sales volumes to improve,” chief executive Henry Demone said in a statement.

Last month, High Liner acquired American Pride Seafoods.

High Liner paid US$34.5 million in cash for American Pride’s inventory, plant and other tangible assets in New Bedford, Mass., excluding $15.5 million in accounts receivable.